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Poster dispelling myths about AIDS, United Kingdom, 1981-1987

AIDS was first described in 1981 and the virus (HIV) which causes it was first described in 1983. There was and still is some confusion among the public over how the disease spreads. It is a sexually transmitted disease and can also be spread through infected blood via blood transfusions or sharing needles. This poster informs people that AIDS cannot be caught by donating blood as a new needle is used for each donor. Hugging, shaking hands or using swimming pools also do not spread the disease.

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Glossary: poster

Notice, usually printed on paper, intended to be posted to advertise, promote, or publicise an activity, cause, product, or service; also, decorative, mass-produced prints intended for hanging.

Glossary: sexually transmitted infection

Any disease transmitted by sexual intercourse. STIs include HIV/AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhoea, some chlamydia infections and genital herpes.

Glossary: AIDS

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease caused by infections resulting from a weakened immune system due to the HIV virus. It leads to failure of the immune system and is usually fatal. It is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids.