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PIONEERING PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT, 1950S ONWARDS


Health campaigns figure strongly in the history of NHS Lothian including, as an early example, urging people to have their chest x-rayed. Most promi- nently, however, its pioneering campaign around HIV, launched in collaboration with Lothian Regional Council, set the tone for progressive approaches to wellbeing. Edinburgh’s first case of HIV was diagnosed in 1983. As the decade went on, the city’s high infection rate, nearly seven times the national average, meant that the region was at the forefront of the battle against the spread of the virus. Te most effective of the


initiatives undertaken was the ‘Take Care’ campaign, launched


in 1989. Where campaigns in the wider UK used negative images, such as tombstones, ‘Take Care’ broke with the past with its frank and fun approach, telling people how they could ‘take care of the one you love’ through making the right choices and recognising when they could be at risk from HIV and AIDS. ‘Take Care’ spread the message that HIV and AIDS could affect anyone, and its main focus was sexual transmis- sion of the disease. As the ‘Take Care’ campaign


progressed into the 1990s, needle exchange services, antenatal screening, blood test- ing and contact tracing evolved as further ways to prevent


people being at risk from HIV. Edinburgh’s early collaborative approach to fighting HIV and AIDS makes the city stand out in national public health policies.


Page 20-23 pictures courtesy of Lothian Health Services Archive and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Main picture, top, copyright The Scotsman


NHS70 | SUMMER 2018 | 23


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