100 lives touched by the virus

This is a feature-length film and archive project to capture
and share the stories of 100 lives touched by HIV/AIDS

The AIDSsincethe80s Project is a set of 100 in-depth interviews
that will preserve lived experiences forever

a feature film

The feature film will reveal the heart of the story – telling in people’s own words what it was like to live through loss of so many friends and lovers, and what was done to ease the pain of so much sickness and dying in the UK


a public archive

The interviews in full will then be made public – a vast archive of witness testimony – from men, women, friends, lovers as well as long term survivors themselves. We are delighted that City of London Corporation archives – the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) – will be the permanent home for the collection of interviews. This collection will be known as ‘100 Surviving HIV: The London Interviews’ (see below for more about the LMA)


While there is still time – because memory fades, and no one is getting any younger, least of all those who have been living on medication for decades


Included are those who were exposed to the virus through transfusion, through drug use and through sex

Included are clinicians, carers, mothers, brothers, the young and the old, as well as many survivors

Included are black and white, gay and straight, Londoners and migrants, men and women


a shared history

100 interviews charting not only a key and tragic part of LGBTQ history, but of all our shared social history generally. The ripples of the HIV crisis hit every kind of life, and reverberate to this day

Each of the interviews share a personal history; the 100 interviews together secure collective history for future generations

the film makers

100 interviews charting not only a key and tragic part of LGBTQ history, but of all our shared social history generally. The ripples of the HIV crisis hit every kind of life, and reverberate to this day

Each of the interviews share a personal history; the 100 interviews together secure collective history for future generations

the questions

The big question we set out to answer was:
just what happened?

But soon found other questions
would need answering too:

How did we as a society do? – and is there yet more to do?
And how should we feel now, given the pain,
the loss and the stigma?

Above all: has there been, or can there be,
enough healing?

stigma and silence

We hear about the tragedies of stigma, dread and ignorance. About the silence as HIV first crept through the gay community at the start of the pandemic, cruelly claiming too many friends and lovers. We hear stories of fear and the inevitability of death

care and benevolence

But we also hear the tales of humanity, empathy and benevolence. The acts of extraordinary kindness and love. We hear how a community supported itself with unimaginable strength as it was drained of life

These are stories of small and large acts of great humanity and kindnesses, moments of mirth, yet necessarily also at times of terrible failure, heart break and loss, and of the pain caused by rejection and neglect

not forgotten

Together these stories form a history that is in danger of being forgotten

If protest and sheer guts had challenged social attitudes and secured undreamt of reforms, that surprise and delight was cruelly shattered amid so much sickness and death. Easy perhaps to choose to forget

But then not only will many in a generation of gay men have been wiped out, but their experiences too will have been forgotten – a tragedy on top of a tragedy

These are narratives which needs to be preserved, not only for the sake of those who suffered in silence, but for those who endured testing and trials so that we can enjoy effective treatments today

Moreover, the film investigates a key moment in history when activism inspired and energised new ways to save and dignify life, and pressed for a radical rethink of the palliative care model, out of which came changes that have surely benefitted society at large for the better

hiv in later life

The project is not just about those who did not survive. It is equally important for us to know about and celebrate the survivors still here who are facing later life. People who did not expect to survive and did not make provisions for old age

Living through those times and surviving HIV has left many survivors with complex psychological issues – issues not yet properly addressed or understood

While combination therapy keeps them alive, the realities of survival can be tough, both in the physical sense, and in terms of the financial predicament.

As one survivor put it: ‘we prepared ourselves to die but the hardest part has been learning how to live’

The film asks searching questions about the challenges faced long terms survivors, and asks what should to done to address the complex needs of someone growing older with HIV

learning form survivors

And it’s about the younger generation who are fighting their own important battles with the virus. It is about connecting young and old, about passing on the lessons of experience


We are making this film simply yet professionally – drawing on our years on experience in film and TV. We have already received extraordinary support – both financial and in kind. Our thank-you list is growing

We decided from the start to make this film to foreground the experiences of survivors, and to let what we heard in the interviews define the project. That means we are currently dependent on gifts and donations. We wanted to avoid top-down history. This was to be the voice of the community speaking

But significantly making it this way also permits us to donate the interviews to the Archive, and to finish it without debt and ready to make freely available for screenings and exhibition

And profits can go to charities caring for the survivors of HIV living into later life

The project aims to raise awareness and educate people about HIV & AIDS, to hopefully lessen stigma and to preserve our history

So please do support this project

These are 100 personal journeys through terrible times

100 reasons to support our project

To our bank account: TWO POINT ZERO, 09-01-28 00709379
or call this number to make a credit card donation: +44 (0) 7879 420 931
or PayPal:




This project records a vast collection of video interviews, which we believe will be the largest by far of its kind in the UK. The interviews will be archived in their entirety yet freely available to the public

We are delighted that the London Metropolitan Archive have agreed to provide a permanent home for this archive, securing for posterity superb first-hand accounts of the deadly AIDS pandemic of the 1980s and 90s

This collection will be called: 100 Surviving HIV: The London Interviews

Access to the collection will be free, and open to all preserving in extraordinary detail HIV/AIDS history for posterity.

The LMA is the principal local government repository for the Greater London area and the largest county record office in the UK.

GRAHAM PACKHAM, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee:

“These deeply personal stories will inform, inspire and influence, providing a powerful and empowering discourse. It is very important work, and London Metropolitan Archive’s involvement will ensure that these voices are preserved for the future and can be shared for the benefit of many others.”

Paul Coleman and Adam Roberts are the producers and directors of the Project. They are life-long friends, who began making films together aged 11. Their collaboration on this Project is by far their most ambitious to date.

PAUL COLEMAN (on the right)

Paul has worked professionally in the Film and TV industry for more than 35 years. He has worked for a large spectrum of broadcasters including BBC1, BBC2, BBC World, ITV1, Channel 5, Sky, Disney and UKTV. He specialised as producer/director, but is also skilled in directing studio multi-camera productions both live and recorded. He has worked as Head of Department and as Executive Producer for a variety of life-style programmes. He also has considerable experience in news and current affairs. Programming has included Documentaries (‘Jane’ BBC1), Live News (BBC1, ITV, SKY), Light entertainments (‘That’s Esther’, ITV), Current Affairs (‘Straight Up’ ITV), Children’s TV (‘The Mag’C5,’ Art Attack’ Disney Channel). Paul was BAFTA nominated for his work in Children’s TV, and picked-up an RTS Award and nominations for his work in News and Current Affairs programming.

ADAM ROBERTS (on the left)

Born in Bogota, Colombia. Lives and works in London. Adam is an independent film-maker, curator and writer. He is co-founder of the curation outfit A Nos Amours, which organises screenings, retrospectives, conferences and exhibitions (most recently for Chantal Akerman, a two year retrospective at ICA in London, and a large-scale Arts Council funded exhibition at Ambika P3 in partnership with the Marian Goodman Gallery). Adam has made independent films for TV and a number of dance films (with Sylvie Guillem and Jonathan Burrows), and also worked as a film editor in television, mainly in current affairs. He has also written screenplays, journalism and academic papers.


James Tarling and Ed Middleton are supporting the film as researchers. Neither James nor Ed come from a film background but are passionate about this project and are involved as volunteers. James and Ed also currently volunteer at the Terrence Higgins Trust. MORE????









First and foremost, we thank all those who have given interviews – sharing their experiences and thoughts so freely and openly for the project. They are the reason for this project, and their interviews heroic contributions to history.

WE have many to thank, and those that follow have our sincere gratitude. All and equally valuable, for like a house of cards it takes the effort of all to hold the structure.

Our very particular thanks to Richard Juneman and all at FMTV.LONDON for accountancy and tax credit services

And to our Legal Adviser Jan Tomalin at Media Law Consultancy

And we are delighted to be collaborating with London Metropolitan Archives

Michael Berg and Asher Kenton at The Hospital Club

Jonni Learoyd, and his colleagues Nina Smith & Angus Wyatt at 4Pride / Channel 4


The designers of our lovely logo Sebastien Michau & Gael Laporte

Our wonderful web site designers and builders Dimitri Yiannakis & Kevin Watson

Thanks to Brett Lotriet Best for invaluable advice and doing an interview for us
Thanks to our team of volunteers Kevin Watson, Derek Richardson, and in particular to James Tarling and Ed Middleton, who have been with us from the beginning

Many thanks to Julian Ingle who has made videos and designed graphics and run social media for the Project

Bjorn Swinton-Berry for sound engineering and advice

Angela Byakwaga, Cristian Sandulescu & Chris Sandford at Bloomsbury Clinic at Mortimer Market Centre

Ian Green and his team at THT

Greg Ussher and Metro Centre

Jonathan Blake

Major Trevor Smith
Keifer Taylor for camera work
Richard Leaf who has generously agreed to make an appeal for support of the project

Lisa Marie Russo for advice on funding applications (boy do we need that!)


And many others who have helped in so many ways to help this Project be realised