In the 1980s, high-income countries appeared to be facing their biggest threat to public health: a new, deadly illness that was widely misunderstood and that triggered a wave of panic and prejudice within and against certain groups. Paul Steinberg and Quentin Cooper explore this very recent history – how governments, communities and society at large reacted and changed in the face of this challenge – and reflect on current issues such as rising infection rates, public campaigns and health inequalities. Should we be panicking less, or more?
The mystery object was the 'Don't Die of Ignorance' public information film produced by the British Government in 1987. The film was shown in cinemas and on television, and each household received a matching information leaflet.
You can watch this film in the Wellcome Library catalogue
This event was recorded live at Wellcome Collection on 30 May 2012.