This paper charts the relationship between society and disease within the context of photography and woodcuts and drawings. From an initially deterministic outlook displaying disease as a servant of death, to a more therapeutic approach that highlighted the human condition alongside disease, the ways in which illness have been represented in society has greatly fluctuated over time. 600 years ago woodcuts and prints from the middle ages characterized the Black Plague as a deterministic tyrant who carried off helpless victims in an almost random fashion. In years following, up until the mid 20th century, illnesses were still considered to be merciless killers who randomly targeted the weak and old. When the newly minted profession of photography arose, illnesses were construed to be an almost impossible enemy, highlighting the ferocity of the pathogens through physical degradation of the body. It wasn’t until the late 20th century that the advent of personal cameras allowed victims of disease a form of coping-a practice that quickly picked up traction with AIDs sufferers in the 1980’s. Different than previous “emotionally removed” disease photography, AIDs patients mixed in other elements of life, such as family, to further change the course of disease’s representation in photographic media.