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Surviving & Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture

America Responds to AIDS

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What do you do when your best friend has AIDS?, 1980s

Subtly acknowledging the reality that the AIDS epidemic disproportionately affected African American women, this poster commended the women figured in it for caring for her friend who had AIDS even though it made no mention of how or why the statistics were that way.

  • Publisher(s):
    Centers for Disease Control
  • Type:
    Poster
Blue tinted photograph of an African American woman with her hands together, looking at the viewer.

The America Responds to AIDS campaign presented a diverse group of people addressing a litany of questions about AIDS. The questions used an unidentified interviewer to present these fictional conversations, all of which involved women in this case, as happening all over America. The posters did not include any actual information on prevention or testing, the campaign encouraged a dialogue about AIDS among peers that diffused some of the shame and anxiety associated with the disease. In this way, the campaign combatted AIDS by first addressing the fear.

Choose from the group
  • Blue tinted photograph of an African American woman with her hands together, looking at the viewer.
  • Black and white photograph of a white woman in a hair salon holding a magazine, looking at the viewer.
  • Black and white photograph of a white woman resting her hand on her cheek, looking at the viewer. Only her head is evident.
  • Blue tinted photograph of three white people sitting and smiling, two men in the foreground and a woman in the background.