HIV/AIDS Awareness, or Lack Thereof.

Confronting isn’t it?

This tv commercial, which was aired in 1987  is probably the most memorable ad for those that were alive at the time to remember it. Today was the first time I saw it and I know I won’t be forgetting it anytime soon. Although this ad was the cause of much commotion at the time, it definately did it’s job in rasing an awareness and encouraging the use of condoms. This commercial was played at peak-view times and attempted to cull the beliefs of it only being a man to man sexually transmitted disease and IV needle users disease by showing innocent people, such as women and children dying due to AIDS.

A Brief History (1)

  • The first case of HIV/AIDS in Australia was at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney in 1982. The first Australian death due to AIDS was in Melbourne in 1983.
  • HIV stands for Human Immunodefiency Virus
  • AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Defiency Syndrome.
  • HIV and AIDS ARE NOT the same!!
  • A person can be HIV positive for several years before it develops into AIDS
  • In Australia we are lucky enough to have medication for HIV, making the development of HIV into AIDS preventable usually by 10-20 years, sometimes even more.
  • AIDS will eventually develop because the immune system becomes weaker due to the virus over time. Once it is weakened, it struggles to protect itself from certain infections and cancers.
  • There is no cure for HIV/AIDS

In 2010 it is estimated that there were 34million people worldwide infected by HIV/AIDS. In 1990 there were only 8million people infected. (2)

This compares to just under 40, 000 cases of HIV/AIDS in Australia from the beginning of the epidemic to 2009.  In Australia there have been 6776 AIDS related deaths, worldwide the estimated number of deaths is 30million.

If there have been so many deaths due to HIV/AIDS, why is it we have heard close to nothing about it on tv/newspapers/social media? What we need is awareness. Maybe not as severe as the Grim Reaper, but something just as memorable.

References Used

Website, “Tune In Not Out”

Website, “Worldwide HIV & AIDS Statistics”




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