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Detailed information on risks, prevention, behaviours and summary of disease mechanism
This collection of health information is focused on pamphlets and fliers promoting primary prevention measures to the general public and, to a lesser degree, Health Professionals. The drop-down pages are organized as series level finding aids.
Most artifacts are in English and were produced in Canada or the United States of America. Also there are several artifacts in multiple versions by year, the changes in information between editions is both interesting and instructive.
Although primarily of interest for health researchers this collection may also be of interest to a variety of researchers; for example those interested in depictions of minorities including First Nations / Native Americans, Africans, Asians and sexual minorities. The collection may also be of interest to the following disciplines: Art (graphic design & illustration), Education, Counselling, Gender studies, Graphic novels, History, Linguistics (especially slang), Multiculturalism, Public Health policy, Social work, and Sociology.
The 'General Audience' subcategories represent the largest portion of the collection. They were created to provide information to the general public and as such are diverse in form and depth of coverage.
There are various sets of editions or versions of the same brochure or booklet which provide insights into the evolution of popular myths and medical misconceptions, these items also provide examples of how language used to describe HIV /AIDS changed as the medical community gained more detailed understanding of the mechanism of the virus.
Typical titles for the items include: "What you should know" "Get the Facts!" and "How to Not get AIDS." Atypical and more provocative titles include: "AIDS Kills Women Men and Babies" and "What you think you know about AIDS could be dead wrong."
Many of the comic books and graphic brochures feature "superheroes" with names like 'King Kondom' and 'Grand Master Blaster.'
The 'Specific Audience' subcategories are items that were created to address the information needs of specific group, for example 'Caregivers' includes, friends, and parents, but does not include counsellors or health care professionals.
This subseries contains general information on AIDS for a general audience. The geographical locations represented include several states and provinces, with two versions of a large format booklet from Sweden. The related health concerns sub-series provides the most detailed descriptions of other sexually transmitted infections and opportunistic diseases. This sub-series also contain specific information for intravenous drug users. The debunking myths sub-series provides insights in to the prejudices and assumptions about HIV /AIDS many people held in the 1980's and even into the early 1990's.
General information regarding safer sex practices and understanding HIV /AIDS and how to avoid exposure. Most are in brochure format, some fold out to be posters, many items include comic style story-telling, seven are actual comic books - one of which includes separate Spanish and English versions. Also includes the 1991-92 Annual Report from the Youth Advocates of San Francisco. NOTE: Envelope 1 is Only Comic books.
Information that addresses the specific information needs of Persons Living with HIV / AIDS. Most of this collection are brochures with advice on improving health through diet, drugs, and vitamin supplements. One of these includes an easy reference chart for what foods to eat to alleviate specific symptoms. A comprehensive booklet from 1993 provides fairly detailed information regarding dental health and AIDS related health concerns. there are two booklets from Hazelden publishers one applies the "12 Steps" program to AIDS and the other is a very comprehensive guide to HIV / AIDS prevention and the importance of hope. There are two full page single staple booklets from AIDS Network of Edmonton, one of which is 55 pages long and includes excellent index, glossary and listing of service providers.
Information for people of specific sexualities, or who engage in specific sexual practices.
Although the sub-series for sexual minority women is relatively small with only four items, they were published between 1986 and 1993. The single Spanish bilingual issue of 'LAP Notes' provides comprehensive information on rights, symptoms specific to women, problems accessing medical care and a snapshot of the attitudes and challenges lesbians faced at the time. It includes a letter from a lesbian living with AIDS in prison. NOTE the term 'Bisexual Woman' rarely appears in this entire series.
Within the sub-series for sexual minority men there are several brochures with erotic photographs or illustrations of naked men engaged in various sexual activities. This is worth noting as such images are mostly absent from any other series. One wallet sized fold out contains statistics on 'young men and HIV.' Most items have lists of safe versus unsafe sexual practices.
The heterosexual sub-series is dominated by items targeting specific ethnic groups with titles like "You don't have to be white of gay to get AIDS.' One of the Native American brochures connects AIDS to previous diseases the were imported with European colonizers like smallpox. In terms of risk of transmission some of the brochures list 'French-kissing' as unknown.
The sub-series specific to heterosexual women contains a wide variety of items most of which contain some information on pregnancy or mother to child transmission; some are specific to this concern. Many items exist in more than one version or are bilingual. There is a single photocopy brochure on symptoms specific to women. There are a few comprehensive booklets that include preventative measures for sex with other women but the majority of the information in them assumes the reader is a heterosexual woman. There is a single brochure that focuses on Reproductive Tract Infections (RTI's) which does not mention HIV /AIDS. Includes one bookmark and one business card information item.
General information on safe sex and risk assessment specifically for heterosexual women. Most are brochures with a few alternate formats including one issue of "World Health"(Nov/Dec 1990) and the summer 1993 "Positive News: Newsletter of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation" in 4 languages.
This sub-series contains five (5) Items: three from the Government of Canada and two from the United States of America.
The Canadian items are English / French bilingual. Although there are many government produced brochures and pamphlets in other series the characteristic which ties these items together is that they function as official responses to HIV / AIDS by Government and account for what the authorities have done and plan to do. Most direct the reader to contact government offices.
The Citizens Commission on AIDS is unique in the collection as an example of leaders from various communities coming together to act as non-governmental advocates for action on the epidemic. The commission members are from various professions including banking, industry, unions, scholars, a vicar and the United States most famous feminist, Gloria Steinem.
General information on safe sex and risk assessment. Most in brochure form, the majority of this sub-series targets visible minorities especially Native Americans; includes two issues of the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center Quarterly.
Information on what causes AIDS and precautions to take. In this sub-series there are two sets of two brochures from the Canadian Government showing significant changes in information and language used between 1985 and 1986, and comparative maps and statistics from 1987 and 1990.
Three items with advice on prevention: a brochure regarding safer sex practices for gay youth and a comic book (in Envelope 1) for girls called "Andrea & Lisa." One brochure from Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services of Los Angeles features photographs of Brooke Shields asking adolescents "Why Take Chances?"
The material in this sub-series is information for parents of school age children and teenagers. Most are in brochure format and provide general information and advice on talking to you child about HIV / AIDS. One 28 page magazine format "Prevention Guide" from the CDC. Also one brochure in four versions: 3 different dates and 1 in Spanish.
Information for specific occupations outside of Health and Medicine. Approximately half of the items in this series are intended for teachers, administrators or instructors in schools and colleges. It includes information from the UK, USA and Canada. There are Information bulletins from Alberta Education (Canada), the Department of Health and Human Services (USA) and the UK Department of Education and Science. there is one catalog of AIDS related teaching materials and three versions of an English as a Second Language teaching resource.
The other half of this series is for a variety of non-educational occupational settings, the majority are general and cover concerns like sharing equipment or lockers rooms with someone with AIDS. There are however two with very specific audiences, food and beverage workers and personal service (grooming) workers. there is also a single brochure that seems to be for anyone who works in downtown Vancouver B.C.
This series contains four sub-series all of which are directed at Health Personnel or First Responders who may come into contact with bodily fluids during their normal work day.
Most of this series is information which targets the specific concerns of workers in public safety, health and emergency personnel. There is also information for Dentists. Most of this series in in the form of booklets or full sized bulletins or newsletters. One booklet which is present in three versions, two from 1984 and one from 1988, show both the progression of information and regional differences in how it was communicated.
Three items target concerns regarding Blood Donation and Blood Supply. The booklet from Saskatchewan Health is comprehensive in describing what all levels of hospital staff must do as 'Universal precautions against blood-born pathogens.'
Complementary Health Practitioners and practices are discussed in three newsletters on the following topics: Chinese Herbs, Clear Heat, and Acupuncture. The newsletters are 'Professional Health Concerns' and 'the Quan Yin Newsletter.'
There are a few training and resource items and one information kit from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA. This kit is especially interesting to Health researchers as it contains the collections only examples of scholarly articles and abstracts regarding condoms as an effective preventative measure. It dates from 1993 and includes tip-sheets for talking points with patients and three A4 sized posters promoting condom use.
This subseries contains a large variety of materials which provide primary prevention information on HIV and AIDS. The largest single topic covered is 'Condom Use', followed by 'Testing' and 'Counselling.' The items with creative packaging were all created in Alberta, most by the AIDS Network of Edmonton Society which include actual condoms. This is the only series which includes correspondence in the form of 2 letters from Barry Breau the Executive Director of the AIDS Network of Edmonton. The 'pak' from this group includes 3 flattened "Cootie Catchers" on testing, safe sex, and talking about HIV / AIDS. Instructions and pre-folded photocopies of the Cootie Catchers have been included; please do not fold the originals.
This sub-series contain the largest number of multiple versions of brochures and booklets. Two related sets of information from Health and Welfare Canada represent multiple languages, and two sets of "Scriptographic Booklets" represent editions from 1983 to 1988 and have been personalized for different agencies and locations. Two version of the same brochure from Sweden.
This subseries contains information specifically for adolescents, so this is the most illustrated and colourful series in the collection. The majority of the comic book format items in the collection are in this series. There is one comic book specifically for Native American adolescents. "Sex on Earth and other planets" is unique in that it is a comic book conceived, designed and written by teens for teens; created in Los Angeles in 1992, it is present in both English and Spanish. A Hawaiian comic book called "Bloodstream Follies" presents a cast of seven teens who expose themselves to AIDS via sharing needles for recreational drugs and steroids, and unsafe heterosexual and homosexual sex; it co-stars the crew of a ship of AIDS viruses. The brochures in this series contain titles like "Teens & AIDS" and "Could I get it?"
Information for Friends, Relatives and any non-health care professional who are caring for people who are HIV+ or Living with AIDS. The material aimed at parents are brochures with question and answer scenarios and many have titles that begin with the phrase "Talking to your ..." There is one set of two from the National Safety Council of the United States: "What you should know" & "What your teenager will be learning about AIDS,"
The 'Friends' sub-series provide several examples of similar information, with titles like "When a Friend has AIDS". There is one booklet specific to the effects of HIV / AIDS related dementia with practical tips on accommodations and safety precautions.
Note that with the 'Parents' sub-series there are three items regarding sexuality that are completely unrelated to HIV / AIDS; these provide advice and answers to parents who are concerned that their child might be a homosexual. As these items are aimed at parents they are included here rather than the 'Sexuality' series which is aimed at people of a specific sexuality.
Information to counteract fear of infection / contamination.
There are six top level MeSH categories represented in this collection: followed by specific sub-categories.
C: Diseases E: Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment F: Psychiatry and Psychology I: Anthropology, Education, Sociology and Social Phenomena M: Persons N: Health Care