The initial AIDS symbol used
by the World Health Organization in the campaign against
AIDS, and in the top left corner the Thai text
dai hahk ruam
‘AIDS can be
prevented if hearts join worldwide’.
In the top right corner is the Thai number 2533 (๒๕๓๓),
i.e. the year in the Buddhist Era (BE),
as well as the year 1990 AD. Just underneath it is a small
red cross, representing the
Thai Red Cross Society.
The symbol was
created in 1989 by the renowned
New York graphic designer Milton Glaser and used prior to 1991, when
it was replaced by the red ribbon as
the predominant AIDS symbol. It combines three elements,
i.e. two red hearts of which one lobe overlaps the other and
is replaced by a blue human skull, thus forming the letter W
of the WHO, as well as of World, a reference to its
worldwide effort to stop the spread of AIDS. The meaning of
the image is rather ambiguous and has been explained to mean
that in the midst of erotic love lurks death, as well as
that if kind hearts join worldwide AIDS can be prevented and
the disease itself will die off.