The project is not just about remembering those who did not survive. We place centre stage the survivors still here who are facing later life. Using our breadth of interviews, we want to ensure that public policy and healthcare takes into account the reality of lived experiences. As the population of people who were among the first to be diagnosed as HIV positive now enter later life, many of them did not expect to survive and so face unique challenges.
This is the first generation of people living with HIV to reach older age.
The support structure that was so hard fought for in the past is now being withdrawn or depleted and those places of support and integration, the drop-in centres are all but a thing of the past. Isolation for many older positive people is not uncommon.
Living through those times and surviving HIV has left many survivors with complex psychological difficulties, not yet properly addressed or understood. And while combination therapies keep many alive, the daily grind of survival can be tough, mentally, physically and financially.
As one survivor put it in their interview with us: “we prepared ourselves to die but the hardest part has been learning how to live.”
With this in mind the aims of the project are to create a broad and eclectic archive and social history resource that will ensure such a crucial time can never be forgotten while at the same time acting as a resource for this community’s needs.
A planned series of annual conferences will place living longer with HIV centre stage.
Help us to develop awareness of people living longer with HIV and the challenges we face as a society to develop specialist care and resources for later life. Please consider donating below.
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.