John Libbey Eurotext



HIV and AIDS: a philatelic medical review Volume 25, issue 2, Mars-Avril 2021


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1 Assistance publique des Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), Paris, France
2 Université de Paris, UTCBS, CNRS-Inserm, Paris, France
3 AP-HP, Hôpital universitaire Bichat-Claude Bernard, Service de virologie, Paris, France
4 Université de Paris, IAME, Inserm, Paris, France
5 Professeur honoraire, Paris, France
* Correspondence

The postage stamp can serve as a means of promoting the social, educational and philanthropic aspects of the fight against diseases in general and infectious diseases (such as AIDS, associated with HIV infection) in particular. The recent but eventful history of this virus and the disease that it causes has prompted the issue of a considerable number of postage stamps worldwide – barely fewer than the number dedicated to combating tuberculosis and malaria. The present semiotic review of 356 international postage stamps on HIV/AIDS is the first to have used a multicriterion evaluation grid based on the interpretation of indices, icons, and symbols. The stereotypes and the most novel representations and the messages conveyed on the cultural and ideological levels are thus characterized with regard to the disease's historical, scientific and epidemiological contexts. This analysis concludes with a humanist plea as an illustration of Hippocratic and Galenic values: prevention, education, solidarity, empathy, healthcare, and research.