top of page

Author/Curator Biography

Siân Cook MA, FRSA, FHEA

Designer and Educator with expertise in graphic design for social issues and over 30 years experience working with voluntary groups and charities in the HIV/AIDS sector.

Senior Lecturer (BA Graphic & Media Design), London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.

HIV/AIDS Related Activity


Design + Voluntary Work

Clients have included: Terrence Higgins Trust; Red Hot AIDS Charitable Trust; GMFA, the Gay Men’s Health Charity; Sigma Research; ACT OPEN Project,

Guy’s Hospital; East London Project; Gay Men’s Sexual Health Survey;

Positive Allies; National AIDS Trust; MeSH (Measurement & Surveillance of HIV Epidemics); ReShape; National HIV Story Trust; Controlling Chemsex.

GMFA Legacy Merchandise:

(2023) Catwalk4Power x LCC Knowledge Exchange Project: Printmaking Workshops.

Regular contributor to Visual AIDS: Postcards From The Edge, New York, fundraiser since 2018.

Board of Directors, GMFA/LGBT HERO: 2013-2019.

Design work sample:   @nostarpro

Publications + Articles

(2023) The New York Crimes. Left Cultures 2, 110-111.

(2021) Semen Kit, in Up Against the Wall: Art, Activism, and the AIDS Poster, Eds. Donald Albrecht & Jessica Lacher-Feldman, RIT Press, Rochester.

(2020). Realising the Potential of a UK HIV/AIDS Graphic Ephemera Archive.

The Polyphony: Conversations across the medical humanities. 23 Mar 2020.

(2019). Graphic Ephemera, Lasting Impact: Building an Online UK HIV/AIDS Design Archive. On Curating, 48-56 15 Oct 2019.

(2011). Glamorous layers of interpretation (General Idea Review). Eye: The International Journal of Graphic Design, no.80 vol. 20.

(2010). Honest and True? Authenticity in the visual representation of gay relationships in HIV/AIDS health promotion. The Everyday Experiment, 1(1), 64-70.

(2009). Embedded Designers. Visual:design:scholarship, 4(1).

(2000). Stigmata Martyr: The Externalisation of AIDS. zed, (7), 42-52.

(1998). General Idea: Infiltrate, infect and mutate. Eye: The International Journal of Graphic Design, 8(30), 26-35.

Events + Talks:

(2023) HIV Panel Talk, Queer Britain, Visual Culture During and After the Epidemic.

(2023) Conference, Society for Social Studies in Science. Session – Knowledge of HIV/AIDS in STS: Archives, Science, and Participation, Paper: Activating the AIDS Archive: graphic ephemera as a spark for new conversations and activism’.

(2023) Online Panel Discussion, The Legacy of Gay Men Fighting AIDS | GMFA Legacy Archive.

(2023) Online Panel Discussion, LGBTQ+ Representation in the Media and Allyship

DunnHumby Proud, part of the company’s LGBTQ+ History Month events.

(2023) Panel Discussion, Picturing HIV. The Ward Revisited, Talks & Events Programme, Fitzrovia Chapel, London. (recording:

(2022) Talk, Graphic Communication: A UK HIV/AIDS Design Archive’. RSA LGBTQI+ Creative and Culture Network, London.

(2021) Artist Talk, Comic Velocity: HIV and AIDS in Comics. Online Zoom Event for Visual AIDS, New York.

(2020) Conference, HIV/AIDS in the 21st Century: Memorialisation, Representation and Temporality
, Humanities Dept, University of Manchester, UK
. Paper: ‘Realising the Potential of a UK HIV/AIDS Graphic Ephemera Archive’.

(2019) Conference, The Material Culture of Health Activism, the Science Museum, London.
 Paper: ‘Looking at Sex + Death: 
The Influence of Activism on HIV/AIDS Imagery and the Design of Health Promotion’.

(2019) Event Organiser: Showing Out: ‘Positive Allies’ and the Creative Workplace, Symposium, London College of Communication. Part of ‘Emergence’ for London Design Festival.

+ Paper: ‘The Changing Face of HIV/AIDS: The Design of Information for HIV+ People’.

+ Exhibition: curation, design and display ‘30 Years of Positive Graphics’.

(2014). Lecture Series HIV/AIDS: Controlling and Eradicating A Modern Epidemic. London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Paper: ‘Graphic Communication: the design of HIV/AIDS health promotion ephemera’.

(2008) C11: 11th National CHAPS Conference (Community HIV & AIDS Partnership) Nottingham. Opening Plenary, jointly with Rob Dawson (GMFA): ‘Graphic Communication’.

Consultancy + Participation:

(2023) Advisory panel member, Documenting the HIV/AIDS epidemic: a survey of HIV/AIDS archives in UK project based at West Sussex Record Office.

(2022) Archive material lent for micro museum exhibition, Excalibur XO curated by Adam Zmith, at the Sweeties, The Standard with Bombas + Parr.

(2022-ongoing) Provision of archival material for regular feature in Beau magazine, From the Archive.

(2021) Archive material lent for Comic Velocity: HIV and AIDS in Comics exhibition,  for Visual AIDS, PS122 Gallery, New York.

(2019) Archive material lent for HIV Stories: Living Politics, European touring exhibition, Goldsmiths University of London.

(2018) AIDS Histories & Cultures Festival. Display of archive items RCN LATE: Beat the Bugs!, Royal College of Nursing Library & Archives, London
(2018) Chaired ‘In Conversation’ event at Hales Gallery, London, featuring artists Hunter Reynolds and Sunil Gupta.

(2018) ‘Expert Witness’ contribution to Witness Seminar on HIV Prevention & Health Promotion, EUROPACH oral history project, Goldsmiths University of London.

(2013-2019) Director, GMFA/HERO.
(2017) Symposium, Other Stories of HIV/AIDS: Culture, History, and the Ongoing Epidemic, The Showroom Gallery, London.


bottom of page