This poster is part of a series of three that illustrate two common shifts in the themes of HIV/AIDS posters in the late 1980s
and early 1990s: (1) targeting specific racial or ethnic communities by using different photographic subjects to personalize
the disease; and (2) juxtaposing text and image to dispel myths about at-risk populations. The three children with similarly
uneasy expressions could easily be advertising cough medicine or breakfast cereal. The viewer would likely be surprised to
learn from the text that this is a public service ad for HIV/AIDS education. By using the images of attentive children, the
posters challenge parents to overcome existing taboos, suggesting they have a responsibility to educate their children about
HIV/AIDS. The message also normalizes the controversial advice offered by Surgeon General C. Everett Koop in his report on
HIV/AIDS issued in 1986, which suggested that since education was the best and only strategy of prevention, and since HIV/AIDS
was spread primarily through sex, school children should receive sex education. In this context, the expectant faces on the
children alongside the imploring passage suggest that parents have a moral duty to educate their children.
NOTE: Slide of original poster image is blurry.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (501,893 Bytes)
Brogan and Partners
Original Repository: The History of Medicine Division. Prints and Photographs Collection.
This image may also be accessed from the Images from the History of Medicine (IHM).