Last week we held our inaugural educational forum about the AIDS pandemic of the 1980s and 1990s. Titled “The Forgotten History of the AIDS Pandemic” it was aimed at teachers, students or anyone with an interest in the history and impact of the pandemic. It marked the launch of our educational resource ‘Hidden History of HIV’.

We are extremely grateful to our speakers, who by sharing their stories will help to tackle the stigma that still surrounds being HIV positive today.

They included:

      • Chris Sandford, Chair
      • Winnie Sseruma
      • Garry Brough
      • Prof Jane Anderson
      • Amanda Mammadova
      • Dr Jason Jones
      • Bruno de Jongh

We also shared footage and photos from our archive to bring the past alive for an audience who, thankfully, may struggle to imagine what life was like for a person living with HIV 40 years ago.

We have been overwhelmed by the incredible response to the session. We have long believed that the history of the HIV pandemic should feature more prominently in education and the feedback we have received confirms this.


ATTENDEES’ FEEDBACK

“It’s hard to deliver serious and potentially upsetting content but it was so engaging and done with such warmth – it didn’t feel ‘down’ (for want of a better way of putting it and without wanting to do a disservice to those bravely shared stories of lived experience).”

“The quality of the presentation and the clarity and knowledge of the speakers was superb.”

“Also fantastic that voices from people of colour and women were highlighted, as too often HIV and AIDS stories are centered on white gay males. Thank you for showing more of the narrative.”

Very well organised. Interesting mix of speakers as well as excellent videos and images. Very moving and a great reminder of where we have come from but also the continuing challenges. Thank you.”


The NHST is now working with educational experts to ensure we bring the teaching of HIV/AIDS to schools and other institutions in the best way possible.

Keep an eye out for further announcements as we will also be running forums targeted towards other specialist groups with an interest in the history of HIV in the near future.

There is a lot to unpack from the history of the HIV pandemic, to say the least, and we want to make sure we are able to provide a holistic insight, ensuring that history is remembered while also educating as many people as possible with what it means to be HIV positive today.

NHST’s Hidden History series strives to educate, inform and enlighten all groups about this forgotten pandemic, and to tackle stigma and prejudice of those living with HIV today.

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The event is available to watch on YouTube.

Image reproduced with kind permission from Gideon Mendel from his book THE WARD, published by Trolley Books – www.trolleybooks.com.

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