red ribbon

The United Nations headquarters in New York, illuminated for the General Assembly debate on HIV/AIDS, 26 June 2001 (Based on an unattainable Reuters photograph, New York Times, 27 June 2001. Photo manipulation by Ross Parker/David Campbell).

The Visual Economy of HIV/AIDS investigates the way HIV/AIDS has been pictured through photography since the public emergence of the virus in 1981. This analysis provides the backdrop for asking whether that visualization has altered since the disease was problematized as a security issue in 2000.

The project’s focus is on photojournalism as published in a small selection of major US and UK media outlets, notably the New York Times, The Guardian and The Observer (London), as well as Time magazine, since 2000. In addition, the project considers the work of selected documentary photographers and photojournalists who have undertaken special projects on HIV/AIDS – including Pep Bonet, Don McCullin, Gideon Mendel, James Nachtwey, Brent Stirton and Tom Stoddart – as well as some photography used by the United Nations and non-government organization publications concerned with HIV/AIDS.

The Visual Economy of HIV/AIDS was originally a research report, completed in May 2008, for the AIDS, Security and Conflict Initiative