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The AIDS Grim Reaper Campaign (A) 2006-90.1

24 November 2008



In March 1983, newly elected Federal Health Minister Neal Blewett was briefed on 40 different health issues. Quite a way down the list was a mysterious condition called GRID (Gay-Related Immune Deficiency) – aetiology unknown, except that its victims were largely homosexual men. According to his recollection, Blewett was advised that the disease was not anticipated to pose a significant threat to public health. It wouldn’t be long before he realised otherwise. Those assembled were unaware that Australia already had its first case of GRID (soon to be known as AIDS). But by mid-1983 there was concern about the safety of the blood supply and by the end of 1984, there had been 47 diagnosed cases and 18 deaths.

Part A of this case study follows a dramatically successful, government-backed social marketing campaign that gave Australia a lead over most other countries in reducing the burden of AIDS.

Read more:

  • Part B of this case illuminates the third sector activities that paved the way for and supported the very effective government social marketing campaign.
  • The addendum to the original case study presents the opportunity to discuss whether a repeat of the original campaign would be effective in the “post HIV” era when new groups are succumbing to the infection.
Authors: Marinella Padula
Published Date: 24 November 2008
Author Institution: ANZSOG
Featured Content Length: 4
Content Length: 5
Product Type: Part A, Primary resources