Government AIDS awarenes leaflets, 1987.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Pamphlet titled 'AIDS: Don't Die of Ignorance', and envelope marked 'Government Information about AIDS'. Scientists believe that HIV (the human immuno-deficiency virus that can lead to AIDS) could have spread from monkeys to humans as early as 1675. The current epidemic began in the 1970s and by 1980, AIDS was present in North and South America, Europe, Africa and Australia. The disease can fatally affect the body's immune system.