A feature length documentary film reflecting on the pandemic is at the heart of the NHST’s work. We want to tell in people’s own words what it was like to live through the loss of so many friends and lovers. But for all the pain and heartbreak there were some incredible advances as a community came together in the face of relentless hostility and ignorance, and kickstarted not only the modern LGBT+ rights movement from which so many people today owe their rights, but also a new approach to healthcare. 90% of the filming is complete and we are looking to find completion funding to cover the post production.
In the 1980s an AIDS diagnosis was thought to be a ‘death sentence’ by many. So stigmatised was a positive diagnosis that for many it led to isolation or rejection and in some cases suicide. For many others the ‘secret’ of their positive status led to a silence of their lives and needs over decades, and a retreat ‘back to the closet’.
What must it have been like at a time when you would hope the arms of love would surround you, yet were unable to even reach out to touch?
Thank goodness then for those that would not be silenced and those who did care passionately about people living with AIDS: the carers, the lovers, the clinicians, the activists and visionaries, the fundraisers and the friends. How did this community pull together and change people’s lives forever when faced with such negativity and stigma?
How did we react when it became clear HIV had spread outside the gay community affecting heterosexual men and women, even children?
What is it like now, after 40 years, to break that silence and to ask to be loved again? And what does the future look like for someone living with HIV today?
Our film will be about understanding and revealing the silence and secrets of the time and learning how a community stood together and built a better future, even while it was being drained of life.
Containing tragic and sometimes grim stories of living and dying with HIV and AIDS, the film will also celebrate those extraordinary acts of compassion, love and immeasurable strength shown by so many very special people, from every walk of life.
Your generous support helps us to secure, preserve and protect the stories of the HIV and AIDS pandemic. In doing so, we can ensure the stories continue to be retold to younger generations, including through the arts and education.