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Rubber Revolution: Safe Sex Marketing in the AIDS Epidemic

MA students
18 December 2023 - 11 March 2024
Online exhibition

Curated by MA students, this online exhibition explores different approaches in sexual health marketing related to AIDS and HIV from the 1980s to today.

In the 1980s, AIDs presented a public health emergency across the world. The epidemic resulted in thousands of deaths and still remains a tragic moment in LGBTQ+ history and memory. The epidemic resulted in LGBTQ+ people being othered in society.

Join us for a fresh look at an underrepresented aspect of the AIDS epidemic.

Sourced from the Wellcome Collection, Rubber Revolution: Safe Sex Marketing in the AIDS Epidemic captures the ways the gay community communicated the importance of sexual health and safe sex during the 1980s.

We invite you to think with us about the differences in materials created by official government bodies and those born out of community wisdom. How effective is the marketing done by each group? What lasting effects do these differences have on society and culture?

Visit the Exhibition

Rubber Revolution: Safe Sex Marketing in the AIDS Epidemic is part of a wider series of online exhibitions curated by Art Gallery and Museum Studies and Arts Management and Heritage MA students from the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, as part of an Interpretations course module.

Visit the online exhibition.


An Asian couple embrace by a window; advertisement for the new female condom by the Black HIV/AIDS Network. Brown lithograph. Date: between 1990 and 1999. Source: Wellcome Collection. Licence: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).