I have AIDS. Please hug me, I can't make you sick.
J Keeler, Germany, c.1987
This German poster uses the image of a child
with AIDS to publicise a local AIDS information hotline. The image
itself, one of a child appealing for help both expresses the
vulnerability of everyone, including children, to the HIV virus and
conveys the important message that HIV cannot be caught through
casual bodily contact.
The child is one of the most famous and widely
used images of early informational posters about HIV and AIDS. The
German version is a repurposing of the original, which was produced
not by an AIDS charity, but by the Center for Attitudinal Healing,
a Californian New Age organisation founded in the 1970s. Its
inspiration was the case of Ryan White, a haemophiliac teenager who
contracted HIV through a blood transfusion and whose subsequent
battle against exclusion by the school system made headlines.