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

News

February 26, 2013
A few things going on today.

I have continued researching Indian postal stationery over the last few days, during which I have learned several things not the least of which is that I was spelling "stationery" incorrectly. The other stuff has been updated on the page. More accurate translations, new scans, matching unidentified pictures with descriptions that were missing pictures -- that sorta thing. I won't provide an update every time I tweak something on the page. I'm making way too many changes. Suffice to say that the page is continuing to evolve.

This evolution may get a jumpstart soon. I found a pair of books that will come in handy -- Indian Inland Post Cards With Advertisements & Slogans and a counterpart volume on letter cards. Both of which will probably be the nerdiest books I'll ever read in my life. They should arrive in a few weeks at which point I'll update the page with a pile of information in regards to the earlier cards. Unfortunately the books were published in 2002, so they'll only cover the early stuff. But hey, every bit of knowledge helps.

So I'm going to tone down my work on the page until the books arrive. I'll gain a slew of information from them, so it seems appropriate that I save myself unnecessary labor by waiting for their arrival.

Second, I have a new postal staionery postcard from Romania. I've added it to the postcards page.



It's late and I'm already posting this slightly into the 27th. So look for more stuff tomorrow. Like those first day covers I promised you.
Ferbuary 24, 2013
After several days of hard work, I have completed the new page on Indian postal stationery.

You've probably seen AIDS-themed postcards like this one for sale on Delcampe and eBay. It's a Meghdoot ("Cloud Messenger") postcard. At a cost of less than one American penny, anyone in India can send a pre-stamped postcard anywhere in the country. The pre-printed advertisement is either commercial or informational in nature.



If you don't mind paying twice the cost (still less than one cent), you can send a standard postcard with more room for writing.



If you still need more room, you can use an "inland letter card" that folds into a pre-stamped envelope.



There are about 140 pieces of Indian postal stationery in all. To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever cataloged them. Stamps of India features a 85-item catalog of AIDS-themed Indian postal stationery, but has not updated their list since 2007.

It was this list I used as the seed to grow a much larger list of about 140 items, but the page is far from complete. I have scans for about 110 items and have matched many of them with the ones on the Stamps of India list. Some are totally new items, and others I cannot yet match. I only have translations for perhaps half of the items.

So now I need your help. Please e-mail me if you can help with any of the following:
  • High-resolution pictures -- I am missing pictures for many items. I need better scans for many others.
  • Translation -- I need help translating all relevant AIDS text on the cards.
  • Catalog -- Is there a catalog that officially tracks Indian postal stationery releases?
  • Missing cards -- Information on postal stationery missing from the list.
  • Release information -- Details on both the scheduled and actual release dates (they often differ widely).
Thanks in advance for your help. I can't complete the page without it.

Next update: More first day covers.
February 21, 2013
I'm still working on the new page about Indian postal stationery (there's a LOT of it!), so it's not ready for viewing. But here's a little something in the meantime to keep you busy.

Friend-of-the-website Ricard was able to find these images from the South Africa stamp set coming on November 29. Good find!



February 20, 2013
Here are today's news blurbs.

First, I went through the AIDS on Stamps spreadsheet on Google Docs and added 30-40 Yvert and 10-15 Michel numbers. Thanks goes to Xtophe whose list I used to fill in the blanks on mine.

Second, I now have an image of the final stamp in the Mali 2002 set. Now that the Rwandan 2003 set is available on the auction sites, this is the most difficult set in the world to obtain. I didn't even have a picture of the final stamp until now. Good luck to anyone collecting it! I have four of the six stamps in my collection, of which only two are mint condition. I'd be curious to know of anyone who has all six in their collection.



Third, I have made some corrections in our listings. Until now, if a stamp had 2004 printed on the cover but was released in January 2005, I included it with the 2004 stamps. I have moved these cases to their correct release year, but left a note in the prior year indicating their correct release year.

This is the list of corrections:
  • Mali 2001 moved to 2002.
  • Monaco 2007 moved to 2006.
  • Togo 2007 moved to 2008.
  • Senegal 2004 moved to 2006.
  • Ghana 2005 moved to 2006.
  • Madagascar 2005 moved to 2006.
If you know of any that I missed, let me know and I'll correct them.

Fourth, I added two new official postcards.

One from Romania...



... and one from Poland.



Fifth, I have added a sheetlet for China (2003). This sheet is surprisingly expensive. The lowest I have ever seen it for is about $15-20, and one site is selling it for a whopping $150! If anyone can translate the text in the central I'd love to know what it says.



Sixth, I found an interesting article on Cambodian Stamps about fake Cambodian first day covers floating around. As I understand it, all official first day covers are released by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPTC). However, the philately section of the Central Post Office in Phnom Penh is very helpful to philatelists and organizations that like to make homemade first day covers for personal own use. They'll set the date on cancel stamps to whatever date people would like. Some of these not-official first day covers have made their way to Delcampe and eBay. Some of those descriptions may not acknowledge that they are non-official covers.

According to Cambodian Stamps, you can tell a real from a fake cover this way -- look at the cancellation mark. If it's a generic mark with a date, then it's not an official first day cover no matter what the envelope says. The authentic first day covers all bear a special cancellation from the MPTC.

Consider these envelopes.





The first has a specially designed cancellation mark. The second has a generic mark. As such, the second is an interesting addition to a collection, but should not be presented as an authentic first day cover. Indeed, there is no guarantee that it was actually canceled on the date specified on the mark.

Finally, more of these odd French cinderella stamps.




The writing on the green cover reads: "Not a Drug" which may be better translated as "Anti-Drug". The small writing on the bottom of the front cover reads, "Book of Stamps". The back cover says, "initial print run of 100 copies". The location on the back cover says "Region North Pas de Calais", which is the very northern territory in France along the Belgian border. Sure enough, the postmark reads "Pas de Calais".

It's not an answer. Yet. But it does mean we're learning more about it.

Next update: Indian Meghdoot postcards
February 19, 2013
Another batch of first day covers today. With several hundred AIDS stamps out there, it's going to take a while to find covers for them all. Assuming they even all exist.

















































Tomorrow: Miscellaneous new stuff. (No new first day covers, I promise!)
February 18, 2013
Last year the Scott Catalog asked me to loan them my Mali (2001) stamps for their examination. Those stamps were positively cataloged and finally given Scott numbers last October. The series is Scott 1125-30, but they had never been able to examine the entire set. I only had four, so the ones I loaned them were verified as 1127-30. The Scott Catalog staff had never been able to examine those stamps, so they were pleased to solve one of the many minor cataloging issues that have cropped up over the years.

I also sent them a letter identifying several stamps missing from their listings. Here is what they wrote back to me, along with pictures so you know what they were discussing.



The Mali sheet in scan #2 is an item we'd like to see so we can list it. It belongs in the 1051-1056 set. We would not be listing the imperforate in scan #1 as this is an item that was undoubtedly printed in limited quantities, and is one of countless similar items produced over the years for many other ex-French colonies in Africa.



The Bosnia & Herzegovina items in scans #3-4 would not be listable because they are only charity stamps. We list obligatory postal stamps used nationwide, but the use of these stamps on mail was not obligatory.



The items from Yugoslova and Serbia and Montenegro shown in scans #5-9 are also not listable. While these may be postal tax stamps they were used only in Serbia, and are not nationwide. After Serbia became an independent counry in 2006 when Montenegro became the last ex-Yugoslav republic to leave, then we began listing Serbian postal tax stamps again, because the stamps would be used nationwide.



As for the Congo items issued in 2005, we suspect that they may very well be legitimate postage stamps, as they don't look like the many items created in the years 2002-2005 that are in the philatelic marketplace bearing the name "Congo" that have popular philatelic topics and which may or may not be legitimate. Unfortunately, our questions posed to the Congolese postal officials on these matters have gone unanswered for many years. We can't list 2005 stamps until we have enough information to make a determination on the listability of these earlier items. Maybe one day these items will be listed, but getting enough information from many African postal authorities has become more and more problematic.

All in all, it was an interesting bit of correspondence. The Congolese stamps will hopefully sort themselves out in time. Scott has to deal with the backlog of possible counterfeit stamps before they can give official numbers to the current ones.

I'll try to pick up the Mali sheet sometime and then loan it to the folks at Scott. Perhaps it will be of assistance in finally getting a catalog number for the Luc Montagner stamp. The information on the postal tax stamps from the ex-Yugoslavic countries was also enlightening. I had not been aware what Scott's criteria for listing a postal tax stamp was -- that it be an obligatory nationwide stamp. Now that I know, why they did not list all those stamps makes much more sense.

Tomorrow: Another batch of first day covers. I keep finding more!
February 17, 2013
A few news bits today, none of them about first day covers.

First, the spreadsheet of AIDS stamps has been updated to add a lot of Stanley-Gibbons and a few Michel numbers. These are mostly for 2010 and 2011 stamps, but are for a few older ones as well. As always, the specific stamps with the new numbers are indicated at the bottom of the document. Thanks for this goes out to Philatelic Supplies, from whose stamp lists I learned the numbers.

Second, I discovered that this Monaco stamp...



... was incorrectly listed as a 2007 stamp. It does say 2007 on it, but the stamp was released in 2006. I have therefore moved it to the website's 2006 page. I know I have a few more issues like this around the website. I'll fix them as I remember which they are.

Third, I have added this piece of postal stationery -- a pre-stamped postcard from Slovenia. This comes from my personal collection.



Fourth, an addition for the Not an AIDS stamp page. This is a Bangladeshi cinderella stamp being sold on Delcampe as an AIDS stamp. It appears not to be the case. Although I cannot read the writing so I cannot say for sure, multiple versions of this are posted around the web. They are highly similar in appearance and all but the one on Delcampe are being marketed as anti-cancer stamps.

So my apologies for the poor scan of this -- it's what the dealer posted. But it should be enough to help you avoid this stamp.



Fifth, a story about this Swiss AIDS stamp from 1994.



According to the June 1995 issue of Der Spiegel, a German magazine, this stamp was actually quite controversial. Google Translate explains the story this way. It's not the best translation, but gives you an idea of the controversy.

Niki de Saint Phalle, 64, American-French artist learned for its smallest work very mixed reactions. As it three months ago on behalf of the Swiss Federal Post designed a new stamp, they were showered with angry protests: De Saint Phalle had painted in support of the anti-AIDS campaign, a stylized phallus with colorful rubber coating.

Customers who looked hurt their religious feelings, sent the stamps back to the post office, instigated others furiously in discussions at the counters: The brand urge to free sexuality, the recipients of their letters would not need such protection. Some moral guardians even threatened with legal action, but renounced it.

For now the infamous "Stop Aids" brand valued at 60 cents has become an absolute hit. Collectors and speculators are already a month before the official end to the hunt for the coveted piece, although not even known what the colorful phalluses will be even worth it - the federal Bundespost betrays traditionally only after the end of a campaign, the number of copies of their stamps.


Sixth, I added a new picture of this 2001 set from Lesotho. There's nothing new about these stamps, but until now I haven't had a picture or information about red ribbon tabs being available. I'm guessing that not all stamps on the sheet can have tabs, so buyers who want the tabs should confirm their availability with the seller before purchasing.



Tomorrow: A letter from the Scott Catalog.
February 16, 2013
One last batch of first day covers. Some are scanned from my personal collection. Some of these covers were given to me by readers of this website. So let me thank you again for your donations.

As with the previous first day covers, these have been added throughout the website to the listings for their specific stamp(s).







































Tomorrow: A few miscellaneous additions.
February 15, 2013
A huge batch of first day covers. None of these are new stamps, but the covers were not previously available on this site. These images have been added to the listings in the years for each stamp.





































































Next update: A covers from my personal collection.
February 14, 2013
Happy Valentine's Day!

Today begins several days of "first day covering". I'm going to post a mess of first day covers. In part because I want to record what some of them look like. Not all -- there are dozens of different FDCs on just the USA AIDS stamp alone. The other partial reason is because I'm curious which stamps may not have FDCs. So bit by bit I'm going to post FDCs for as many AIDS stamps as I can.

As I post them on the website, I'll add them to the listings for each stamp as well. So without further ado, here is the first batch.





























More tomorrow!
February 13, 2013
The news continues...

First, a personalized stamp from the Netherlands.



Second, a cinderella stamp from France. This looks to me like it is a stamp-sized version of a poster. The text at the bottom reads, "Each year in France 5000 men and women are infected. We can all do something against AIDS."



Third, three pre-stamped postcards about the AIDS epidemic. These are official releases from a postal service usually intended to promote a specific event or cause.

This is a postcard from Romania, postmarked December 1, 2011.



This postcard is from Russia. A dealer reports it was realeased on July 29, 1996.



This is a postcard from Portugal, postmarked December 1, 2012.



I also miscategorized two Soviet postcards as envelopes. I have corrected the error and moved them to the postcards page.

Fourth, a postal envelope from Ethiopia. This one isn't pre-stamped, but it does have a red ribbon printed on the envelope and on the inside.



Tomorrow: a small ton of First Day Covers.
February 12, 2013
It's been months since you last heard from me which means I have lots to report. It'll take me a few days to get through it all, so let me get started.

First, we have this March 29, 2012 release from Uganda. I showcased this last year, but didn't have a very good picture of it. Here is a much nicer set of pictures of these stamps.



Second, a tidbit from South Africa. On their release schedule for 2013 is a November 29 release, "World AIDS Day - 25 Years".

Third, a Guinea-Bissua "release". I say release because it's yet another of those highly polished stamp releases that is of questionable validity. My assumption is that they are the result of excess stampage and not worth the paper they are printed on. I will not be buying them for my collection. I want to collect "real" stamps about AIDS that are used on actual letters or packages -- not some pretty stamp lookalike that enriches companies that are little better than fraudsters.

Nevertheless, I'll record them here. But I will put them on the Under Investigation page and not in our actual listings. As I said, I doubt these are real stamps worth collecting.



Fourth, we have Macedonia's annual AIDS postal tax stamp release. This time for 2012.



Fifth, Nepal released this stamp in December of 2012.



Sixth, this June 6, 2012 South African release. The description from Linn's Stamp News reads...

"Academic Health Sciences 100th Anniversary, souvenir sheet with se-tenant pair of nondenominated standard postage stamps with a continuous design, mosaic by Lovell Friedman, with Xolani Badli, Sibongile Memani, Mbuyiseli Somdaka, and Sandi Mdekazi, representing Nondumiso Hlwele's story about antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS, from old entrance of the faculty of health sciences library at the University of Cape Town. Offset, Enscede; 50,000 sets."

Wanting to know more, I researched Nondumiso Hlwele. I learned she is a South African woman diagnosed with HIV at the age of 26. She received medical assistance through a local AIDS project, and later shifted her time and attention toward projects that celebrate life and tell stories about people with HIV. She drew a body map as an art project for one of these programs, which was later turned into a mosaic representation on the wall of the Health Sciences Library. That mosaic was in turn pictured on this stamp.

Although the stamp itself does not mention the word AIDS, it does contain abstract representations of the AIDS virus. You can see some of them on the souvenir sheet. The virus is pictured as blue dots on the the body map / mosaic / stamp. Anti-retrovirals are represented as the red circles devouring them. Her blood is represented as white streams coursing through her body.



Seventh, I have added a mess of Scott numbers and the above new stamps to the spreadsheet of AIDS stamps on Google Docs.

Eighth, the April 30 issue of Linn's Stamp News mentions an issue from Serbia with this quote: "April 4, 2011: First Against AIDS postal tax stamp (obligatory on mail from April 4-30), 10 dinars, Dimitre Miodragovic. Offset; 2.5 million."

According to Neofila, a stamp website that specializes that region of the world, the postal tax stamp released on that date was an anti-cancer stamp, not anti-AIDS. Indeed, he's part of a series of anti-cancer stamps all with similar appearances. The stamp bears the word "cancer" as well, so we can safely chalk this up as an error on the part of Linn's Stamp News.

Ninth, we have these three sheets from Central African Republic, none of which I believe are legal issues. Oh, they might be legal in some technical sense, but I sincerely doubt any have ever been used for postage. Or even seen by the postal service in Central African Republic. In my opinion they're yet another set of pretty but overpriced stamps that aren't really stamps because they're never actually used. I refuse to denegrate my collection by purchasing stamps like these until I see some evidence they're actually valid releases by their postal service. Meaning the Central African Republic actually uses them locally, makes a public claim to their validity, or the Scott Catalog places them in their listings. I mention the Scott Catalog specifically because they try to be skeptical and refuse to catalog many excess stampage releases until the local post office at least makes a gesture in the direction of their validity.

Since stamps and those like it are only designed for collectors and have no actual market value outside of this, the companies that profit from them will continue this practice so long as collectors freely give away their money for worthless pieces of paper. For my part I refuse to do so.

But for what it's worth, here are their pictures. I'll stick 'em on my Under Investigation page until more information becomes available, which may well be never.



Tenth, we have this set of 2012 releases from Malawi. I have no information regarding their release date.



And this related souvenir sheet.



If you poke around the web, you may find sheetlets like this. It turns out these are just the center three rows of a larger stamp sheet. Pretty, but not a notable release. Sheetlets like this exist for all five of the basic stamps.



Eleventh (lots of news today!), there is this release from Chad. I sincerely doubt it's legal as well. Note the poor design quality. Unusually low or high quality releases from developing nations are always suspect. It's also a souvenir sheet and featuers multiple collectable themes (AIDS, Princess Diana, antique cars, Red Cross). It's also from Marlen Stamps, a known purveyor of suspect stamps, who is selling it for the ridciulous price of $17.95 (and the imperforated version for a whopping $54.95). This one goes directly to my fake stamp page.



Twelth, this sheet from 2012 is a set of personalized stamps in Thailand promoting an AIDS foundation. I can't read the text, but their logo can be seen in the lower left corner.



Thirtheenth, this Cinderella sheetlet promoting the Stamp Out AIDS campaign. According to John Gline's art profile, "Stamp Out AIDS was a national campaign to help people with AIDS. It raised money through the sale of stamps similar to Christmas and Easter seals. The money raised went to AIDS service providers across the country to fund buddy programs, food programs, hospice care, and other vital services. Stamp Out AIDS was instrumental in establishing Broadway Cares, which soon enough became Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, one of the premiere organizations in helping in the fight against HIV/AIDS."

As seen in this article, the campaign is surprisingly old with a May 12, 1987 mayoral pronouncement supporting the campaign by the late New York City Mayor Ed Koch.

You can find the stamp listed on the cinderella page.



There's more! But I'm gonna upload this for now. Check back tomorrow for another update.
July 13, 2012
Another update, another set of news. Here's the scoop for today:

First, I have removed the Facebook bar to the right. It only posted the official announcements I made on Facebook, and not the excellent posts that Ricard and Xtophe have been making. If you haven't joined our community on Facebook, I strongly suggest you do so. Those two have a knack for finding AIDS stamp news before I hear it along with pictures of their finds. The community on Facebook will continue though -- it's a great way on keeping up with the latest news in the AIDS stamp community.

Second, as you recall, Argentina released this stamp in 2010...



This is an ATM (automated teller machine) stamp. You go into the post office, pay the fee to mail your letter/package, and the machine prints out a stamp with the amount of the fee automatically printed on it. Most collectors don't bother with these stamps because they're automated -- the print run is limited only by the number of blank stickers you've got sitting around, and there is no set value. Sometimes, as in Portgular a few years back, there were some pre-printed values you could pick up, but you could get a custom value as well.

In Argentina, these stickers have changed in design over time. According to Ateeme.net, there have been 8 different designs of these stamps since July 1998 since the current set of machines went into use. The first five designs featured a barcode on the bottom of the stamp. In early 2008, the bar codes were removed and replaced with a small line of numbers. This freed up space so that another message could be printed there if so desired.

In August 2010 the postal service ran some test messages in this area, followed by the first country-wide message on these labels in September 2010. It read, "DETENER LA DISCRIMINACION es clave en la prevencion del VIH" (Stopping discrimination is key to HIV prevention). This message was printed from early September 2010 until December 5, 2010 and were intended to appear on the sun-background design pictured above. The sun-background design is #8 of the varying ATM labels.

During this process, for an unknown reason postal services occasionally loaded older designs of these labels into their machines. The end result were rare variants on this stamp.

I do not own either of these variants in my personal collection, but I have at least found images of them.




The above two pictures are the same design -- #3.





These three stamps are design #7.

So to sum up -- the "standard" version is the most common -- design #8 featuring the sun on a white background. Copies do exist in mint condition, the only design that has been verified in mint condition. Variants with designs #3 and 7 are known to exist. While not common, they are obtainable for your collection. There are no known AIDS labels using designs #1, 2, 4, 5, and 6. It's possible they may exist though, so I will keep watching for them.

Third, I have some information and a warning about Indian stamp booklets. You may recall these images...









According to the blog Indian Stamp Ghar, these booklets are part of a several year trend in Indian philately. Organizations, often philatelic ones, print their own stamp booklets and place small sheets of stamps inside. These are then given away or sold as collectable items, often for events they wish to commemorate.

For example, the first booklet was given away at a film festival in 2007. The second and third booklets were distributed by the Outram Club at their stamp show in 2008. (The Outram Club, as I understand it, isn't a stamp club at all, but rather a popular club for hosting events. They sponsored a stamp show in 2008 with a film theme. As part of promoting the show they gave away several booklets, of which two had an AIDS theme inside. Which stamps were actually in the official booklets has not been determined -- see below.) The four booklet was given away at an unknown event later that year.

Because these items are not authorized by the Indian postal service, they are of limited collecting value. If you think they're cool and want to collect them, then by all means go ahead. But don't expect them to have much in the way of long-term value. Think of them as "cinderella booklets". So long as they don't falsely claim to be authorized postal releases, they are simply collectables.

Before collecting them, buyers should be aware of something. All four booklets were originally released in a limited capacity -- a print run of 500 each. They are not difficult to find online. But I am convinced these booklets have been printed in much greater numbers than just 500, quite possibly by people other than the original stamp club (which for all I know may not have published the booklet in the first place). The books are too easily found on the Internet to have been printed in a run of 500 copies each.

I believe that the original booklets contained AIDS stamps. This would work well with the AIDS theme printed inside the booklet. But my copies of three of the above booklets feature cats. The fourth, the blue booklet of Uttam Kumar, features stamps with some sort of goat-like animal. But even as I write this, there is a copy of the same booklet for sale on Delcampe featuring two stamps inside (otters and plants). Multiple copies of the Elizabeth Taylor booklet were also previously sold on Delcampe with the same otter and plant stamps. On eBay you can find the Charleton Heston book featuring stamps of an unknown Indian entertainer; Elizbaeth Taylor and Uttam Kumar booklets with just otter stamps; and both Kumar and Taylor with the Indian AIDS stamps inside them.

If this wasn't enough to scare you away from Indian stamp booklets, consider this booklet.



This booklet was allegedly printed with a run of 250. Unlike the prior four books, this is not a slick booklet on glossy paper. It feels like a thick piece of folded paper. On the back it has the logo of the Uttarakhand Postal Circle, a postal district in the northern part of the country. The Indian postal system is moderately decentralized. While stamps are issued on a national level, each district is given a great deal of autonomy in how it goes about its business.

Unfortunately, this decentralization combined with the trend towards issuing "cinderella" stamp booklets has gone into the area of fraud. Indian Stamp Ghar says many of the booklets are fraudulently using the India Posts logo to make quick money on the legitimate name of the Indian postal service. While the districts may be authorized to use their logo for legitimate postal use, it becomes difficult to determine whether a booklet is legitimate.

Case in point -- the above AIDS booklet. It may or may not have once been an authorized booklet. If so, it probably contained the 2006 Indian AIDS stamp. I have seen this booklet for sale with several different types of stamps inside, none of them AIDS stamps. When I purchased this booklet, it contained several stamps worth about 30 seconds, and the value of the stamps did not add up to the 100Rs printed on the back of the booklet. I was convinced I had been cheated. Gwen from Canada felt the same way when she received her booklet.

Not to mention that if it was printed in 2008 in a run of 250 copies as the booklet claims, it would be extremely difficult to find one. Collectors would snap them up and dealers would quickly be out of stock. Yet they're easy to find across multiple websites.

With all this in mind, I am officially issuing an AIDS on Stamps warning about Indian stamp booklets. The warning reads as follows.

------------------------------------------------------------

Warning!

Indian stamp booklets that touch upon the subject of AIDS appear to suffer from a high degree of fraud including print runs beyond the stated number of copies, substituted stamps other than the intended subject matter, and unauthorizied use of the Indian Posts logo.

Prospective buyers should consider these booklets to be somewhere between a "cinderella" issue with limited value, and a worthless illegal issue.

If you choose to buy an Indian AIDS stamp booklet anyway, you should verify with the seller that the stamps inside are the 2006 Indian AIDS stamp, and not cats, otters, plants, goats, etc. Furthermore, when buying such a booklet from Delcampe or eBay, you should check completed listings to make sure that the seller has not been dealing booklets with the non-AIDS stamps, which suggests their supplier may be providing fraudulent booklets to the dealer.

Buyers should be especially wary of buying the World AIDS Day booklet from December 1, 2008. Until such a time that a reputable stamp catalog determines the nature of the original authorized booklet (if there was one), these booklets are almost certainly fraudulent in nature.

------------------------------------------------------------

There's a bit of minor good news to report, but it's 5am and I've been up all night. It'll have to await my next update.
July 9, 2012
News from the past six months continues.

First, Xtophe has been having fun putting together a series of Youtube videos featuring pictures of AIDS stamps.

Le SIDA en Afrique par les timbres (AIDS in Africa on stamps)
Rubans rouge (Red ribbons)
Le sida tue (AIDS kills)

Second, I am starting to add a first day covers to the listings on this site. It's going to be an ongoing effort, as I don't have the time (or energy) to gather them all at once. But if you have a first day cover for one of the AIDS stamps on this site, feel free to e-mail a picture my way or post it on the Facebook page.

Of note is that I won't be showing all of the FDCs. The United States, for example, has dozens of different FDCs for their single AIDS stamp. I'm going to just show one or two examples for each stamp on the site.

Newly added are the following:












Third, Ricard posted this Netherlands Christmas sheet from 2006. The stamps have nothing to do with AIDS, but the sheet says "Stop AIDS Now" (an AIDS charity) in the top-left of each section. Finding this sheet actually solves something of a mystery for me. I stumbled across it several years ago but couldn't find it again.



Fourth, I am pleased to report I have cleared up one of the "messes" in AIDS stamp collecting -- the situation with the South African stamp booklets.

South Africa has released four booklets of AIDS stamps over the years. Two of these are easy to collect as they contain AIDS stamps and have only been released in once. Two others though have AIDS text on the covers but contain unrelated stamps. Many similar booklets were released, making them quite confusing to purchase. Indeed, many websites where the booklets are sold routinely do so with incorrect catalog numbers, dates, etc.

Fortunately, I was able to pick up a cheap copy of the South African Stamp Colour Catalog (SACC) on Delcampe. Armed with a reference guide and several years worth of South African release dates and catalog numbers, I dove into the catalog this evening and separated the good information from the bad. The end result? The booklets page now has accurate SACC #'s and release dates.

If you have these booklets in your collection, I suggest you take a look at the booklets page. You'll may need to move the booklets in your collection now that the release dates have been corrected.
July 8, 2012
It's been a quiet six months, hence why I haven't been updating the website. After such a busy year for collecting AIDS stamps as 2011, I needed a bit of a break.

Still there's news. So let's get covering it...

First, I have ended the downloadable Excel spreadsheet. Instead, I have placed the spreadsheet on Google Docs. This has the advantage of making my changes go live in real-time. Also, should Google ever introduce a version control system to Google Docs (something I'm sure they're working on), I will be able to open it to the public for editing. That way you will be able to directly add new stamps and catalog numbers.

Second, I have updated the new spreadsheet with Scott #'s for Uzebekistan 2011), Macedonia (2010), Kazakhstan (2011), Serbia (2007 and 2011), Ukraine (2011), and Morocco (2011 x 2).

Third, I have moved the Iraq stamp from 2011 to 2012. Although the stamp says 2011 on it, it turns out it was released on January 3, 2012. This first day cover provides clear evidence of that fact as well.



Fouth, Uganda has released a new set of AIDS stamps in 2012. This set is occasionally featured on eBay (or was it Delcampe?), but the only other website I've seen with this set is Bombay Stamps.



Fifth, an interesting first day cover on one of the Rwandan 2003 stamps.



Sixth, you may recall this odd pair of stamps from Bosnia-Herzegovina (Muslim/Sarajevo administration).



The M&M catalog (which specializes in that part of the world) indicated that the 20KM was a valid postage stamp, but the 50KM value was meant for non-postal uses. Three pages of their catalog (here, here, and here) clearly indicate this is the case. Konstantin from Serbian Stamps translated the text for me. The circled pictures of the TB stamp on two of the pages show an example of another parallel release between a postal and non-postal stamp. The text read, "Most items charity stamps had a parallel release of labels, which were used for collecting the contributions of issued tickets and tickets for various events. They are often different from the charity stamps only denominations, which is always higher than those in the marks for the post."

This made sense and I thought the case was closed until I found these canceled stamps.



If the 50KM value was meant for non-postal use, why does it feature a postal cancelation mark? I can only guess that someone was confused and stuck it on an envelope whereupon the postal service dutifully canceled it. But it is something to watch out for, in case the stamp turns out to have a postal use as well.

Seventh, while I have previously posted two 2005 Yemen AIDS stamps that were part of their set on Millennium Goals, I have not yet posted this one -- a souvenier sheet related to the same set. There is an AIDS ribbon in the lower-left part of the 0. It's small, but it's there.



Eighth, I finally found a picture and a seller of this rare stamp booklet of 1990 Thai AIDS stamps. Unfortunately, the booklet has nothing to do with AIDS, only the stamps inside. The booklet does feature a red cross cancelation if you're lucky enough to find a first day of issue version. Booklets.nl has it for sale, along with a number of other booklets if you are interested.



More tomorrow!

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




This website went online September 15, 2007.