Striking collection of HIV/AIDS pandemic interviews to be available at London Metropolitan Archives

Striking exhibition on HIV/AIDS pandemic opening at London Metropolitan Archives

An archive of in-depth, striking interviews from those impacted by the HIV/AID pandemic of the ’80s and ’90s will soon be available to view at London Metropolitan Archives.

Accessible to the public from 23 February, the collection is the largest ever compiled of filmed interviews on the subject, and features members of the LGBTQ+ community and heterosexual people with HIV or AIDS, and haemophiliacs infected with contaminated blood.

Interviews with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are also included in the archive.

Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage, and Libraries Committee, Wendy Hyde, said: “This remarkable archive of deeply personal testimony will be invaluable to anyone wanting to know more about the dreadful and far-reaching impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and we owe a considerable debt of gratitude to everyone involved in this major project.

“So many people deserve our thanks, in particular, the interviewees who relived their hugely painful memories; the National HIV Story Trust, which entrusted this oral history to us; and our archivists at London Metropolitan Archives for their hard work and dedication to make this happen.”

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The interviews chronicle individuals’ lives and experiences in the crisis conditions up to the advent to a treatment in 1996 and beyond.

In total, 150 hours of collated filmed testimony – by turns, harrowing, shocking, and insightful – is the result of six years’ work by National HIV Story Trust (NHST) and LMA archivists for the benefit of healthcare professionals, social historians, researchers, educators, and the public.

Chair and Co-founder of National HIV Story Trust, Paul Coleman, said: “The history of HIV and AIDS now spans four decades and yet, without recorded personal testimony, this was in danger of being forgotten, so we hope that the archive will prove invaluable to anyone wishing to understand the story of HIV and AIDS from a 360 degree perspective.

“The extraordinary personal experiences of all those touched by the HIV and AIDS pandemic that go to make this archive are now both preserved for future generations, and to inform the present.

“The NHST, working alongside LMA, is proud to have ensured that this amazing generation of people can never be forgotten.”

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