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Fight Against HIV / AIDS Stamp Issue

On May 17, 2004, Tuvalu released a set of four stamps and a single-stamp souvenir sheet in support of the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The first recorded case of HIV positive in Tuvalu was in 1995. By 2003, there were nine confirmed cases. For a country with a population of 11,000, Tuvalu went from no cases to one of the highest ratios per 1,000 in less than 10 years. This has caused great concern for the public and the government of Tuvalu.

The Tuvaluans most exposed to HIV/AIDS are merchant seamen, who spend most parts of a year working on foreign ships in Europe, the Americas, the Caribbean and Africa. Most cases in Tuvalu are believed to be seamen, or their wives or partners, to whom they have may passed the virus.

Tuvalu's 2004 HIV/AIDS campaign theme was "Woman, Girls and HIV/AIDS", and this was the basis for the set of four postage stamps and single souvenir sheet issued on May 17, 2004.

The photographs used for the design were taken by Mrs. Pula Toafa. They were taken during International Women's Day celebrations on Funafuti, March 8, 2004, which was promoting the HIV/AIDS campaign theme. There was active participation from woman's representatives from around the country, youth groups, school children, and government officials.

The 60c and 90c stamps depict school girls delivering speaches during the campaign, the $1.50 pictures the Kilogatasi drama club performing skit on the HIV/AIDS theme, and the $2.00 features the panelists of the event.

The $3.00 single stamp on the souvenir sheet portrays women in group discussions inside a falakaupule, a traditional Tuvaluan meeting hall. A poem about AIDS is written on the background of the sheet.

Technical Details:

Designer: Marketing Dept. TPB
Photographer: Pula Toafa
Printer: Cartor Security
Process: Offset Lithography, 4 colours
Stamp Size: 30mm x 40mm
Format: sheets of 40 with gutter
Souvenir sheet Size: 80mm x 110mm
Paper: PVA gum 110 gsm
Perforation: 13
Release date: 17 May 2004

Ordering Information:

Tuvalu Philatelic Bureau
P.O. Box 24
Tuvalu (Central Pacific)
email: philatelic@tuvalu.tv
or:  www.tuvaluislands.com/stamps/phil-bur/st-formlist.htm