AIDS on Stamps showcases how the AIDS epidemic has been seen on stamps from around the world.


November 30, 2021
In honor of World AIDS Day tomorrow it's time to do a long-long-long overdue update to this website. So here's a slew of news in no particular order.

First, I've created a new Stamps about AIDS Discussion Group on the Facebook. This is different from the AIDS on Stamps Facebook page. The latter is just a series of announcements from me about AIDS stamps and mostly repeats what's on this website with some ability of users to comment after each post. The former is a discussion group where all members can post whatever they want to say about AIDS stamps: new releases, for sale and wanted ads, questions about AIDS stamp -- whatever. If you're on Facebook, I recommend joining it.

Second, I've done a major update to this website. I've added pages for the years 2017 to 2022. In the days that come I'll give the entire website a pass to correct or remove broken links as well.

Third, I've posted a bunch of new stamps. Here's what I've found.

Three new stamps from Macedonia for 2016, 2017, and 2018 respectively. It's also worth noting that these will be the the last of the Macedonian postal tax stamps about AIDS... sorta. In 2019 Macedonia officially changed its name to the Republic of North Macedonia (North Macedonia for short). So any future postal tax stamps will be listed under the new name of North Macedonia. (Side note: I've updated the Breakup of Yugoslovia page to reflect this change, as well as international recognition of Kosovo.)

A 2016 release from El Salvador

2020 releases from Canada and Italy.

Two 2016 releases from Sierra Leone. Before you run out and buy these, know that around this time Sierra Leone "released" thousands of stamps over a several year period. It is highly doubtful most were available for sale in country, much less valid for local postage. So their philatelic value if questionable at best. I've included them in my listings because Scott gave them catalog numbers, but I honestly wouldn't mind if Scott someday wiped the lot of them and kept in their listings only those that were actuially sold locally. I hate people who profit from excess stampage, and denouce those governments and postal services who willingly engage in it.

A 2021 release from Sierra Leone. This stamp is part of a two sheet series focusing on historical and contemporary pandemics.

This set of sheets from Mozambique. Mozambique released what I'm guessing is more than ten thousand stamps in just a few years in one of the worst cases of excess stampage that I've seen. It's highly doubtful these stamps were ever valid postage in the country, but Scott has given them numbers anyway (2021 and 2751 respectively).

Niger has two "new" excess stampage releases as well. These have been around for years now, but I didn't list them on the website pending a catalog number. My latest research foun that the 4-stamp sheet does have one, so I've decided to list them both. I assume Scott will notice there's the souvenir sheet as well in the not-too-distant future.

Fourth, we have an unusual release from the Isle of Man postal service. It's actually a re-release of 1998 Princess Di stamps, this time on a souvenir sheet with AIDS text. A commemorative folder is available as well. In one stamp Princess Di is wearing some sort of red brooch that may or may not be a red ribbon. Even under a magnifying glass I can't tell what it is. There's a lot of text, especially on the folder. But here are relevant excerpts.

From the s/s: Diana, Princess of Wales and the mother of Princes William and Harry, captured the hearts of the nation with her tireles devotiation to charity, particularly in relation to HIV/AIDS and hte fight against Land Mines.

From the folder: (same text as the s/s) ... Diana's Legacy, by Royal photographer Arthur Edwards MBE.... I was there when she removed the stigma of AIDS by embracing victims of this terrible virus.

Fifth, we have this interesting stamp from Iraq. It's a 2003 issue about refugee aid designed in the style of government propaganda at its best. It's difficult to tell on the stamp what is original text and what is an overprint, but the "World AIDS Day" text is in a different font and is out of sync with the refugee aid theme of the original image, so I assume that's an overprint. Either way, the stamp is dated 2003 but Saddam's Hussein's governement only lasted until March of that year. According to the Scott Guide, the Iraqi Coalition Provisional Authority (read: US-backed occupying government) declared 13 stamps that read "Iraq / In Coalition / Occupation" government to be illegal issues. The English text on this stamp doesn't quite match that text, so I'm not sure if this is included in that count. Whether it was actually used in country is unclear, even if only briefly before the fall of Hussein's government. I've included it on the Illegal Issue page.

Sixth, I've updated the Links and Wanted pages.

Finally, updated the Under Investigation page. Closed investigations are now moved to the bottom of the page. I also closed the 2005 release from Sao Tome and Principe (St. Thomas and the Prince Islands).investigation. As per a new update in the Scott Catalogue, all Sao Tome stamps from 2005 have been declared illegal by their postal service. The Illegal Issues page has been updated accordingly.

I've also given the year listings a pass to remove stamps under investigation. The index of stamps by year has been similarly updated, with new references to the under investiation page as appropriate.

I've identified new stamps to investigate as well. As you might expect, these are questionable stamp releases from countries who engage in excess stampage including Central African Republic and Guinea-Bissau, as well as a whole bunch from Togo. The fact some have FDCs should not be taken as evidence they're legitimate, as those are sometimes faked as well.

Updates prior to this point can be found in the archived news page.

This website went online September 15, 2007.