Government AIDS awarenes leaflets and box of condoms, 1987.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Pamphlet titled 'AIDS: Don't Die of Ignorance', envelope marked 'Government Information about AIDS', and condom box by Keith Haring. The AIDS epidemic began in the 1970s and spread unchecked, so that by 1980, AIDS was present in North and South America, Europe, Africa and Australia. The disease can fatally affect the body's immune system. People can catch human immuno deficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS, in several ways, including through sexual contact. The condom is the only method of contraception that can protect against sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS. In the late 1980s the British Government produced leaflets to raise public awarenes of AIDS and promote safe sex.