World AIDS Day

Since 1988, World AIDS Day has been held annually on December 1 to raise awareness in the fight against the spread of AIDS and HIV. According to UNAIDS, there were approximately 36.7 million people around the world living with HIV in 2016 with an estimated 35 million deaths from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic in the 1980s.

AIDS : Queenslanders care. Poster from the launch of the Queensland AIDS Archive, 1992. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

AIDS : Queenslanders care. Poster from the launch of the Queensland AIDS Archive, 1992. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Along with advances in medicinal treatments, one of the most effective means of combating the disease is through prevention and education on topics such as safe sex and safe syringe use.

On World AIDS Day in 1992, the Queensland AIDS Archive was launched at Brisbane’s City Hall. The Queensland AIDS Archive project was initiated by Queensland Health to ensure that the AIDS educational processes developed by Australian agencies were comprehensively documented and preserved. The extensive collection of the Queensland AIDS Archive was later donated to State Library of Queensland. The Archive contains educational material and other items from Australia and overseas and includes leaflets, posters, badges, t-shirts and condoms.

A selection of items from the Queensland AIDS Archive. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

A selection of items from the Queensland AIDS Archive. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

People with AIDS look like you. World AIDS Day 1989. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

People with AIDS look like you. World AIDS Day 1989. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

In addition to this collection, several AIDS awareness posters have been digitised and can be viewed online. You can also listen to the Greg Weir oral history. Weir helped set up HIV/AIDS awareness groups in the 1980s, and went on to become one of the central organisers of the campaign for gay law reform in 1989-90.

Further information

Myles Sinnamon – Engagement Officer, State Library of Queensland