Saturday, 12 February 2011

Aids: 30 Years On

A fascinating - and chilling - documentary on BBC Radio 4, Aids - A Mystery In The Village, written and presented by Simon Garfield.
Garfield - author of The End Of Innocence - Britain In The Time Of Aids - looks at the response of the media, poiticians, and the gay community in the UK and US in the early years of the Aids epidemic.
The irony is that one thing Garfield looks at is how the media were painfully slow in acknowledging there was a problem.
Many pretended nothing was happening, then switched to homophobic scaremongering.
This year is the 30th anniversary of Aids - or rather its appearance in peoples' conscience, so why have there been so few articles and programmes marking this?
In January The Mirror used the anniversary to interview Lord Chris Smith.
The Guardian to run an interview with Jonathan Grishaw - one of the first people in Britain to be diagnosed with HIV and a co-founder of Body Positive - and Rupert Whitaker, a co-founder of Terrence Higgins Trust.
The Jonathan Grimshaw interview was written by Simon Garfield, incidentally.
These are the only three features that Fagburn has seen in the British press marking Aids thirtieth anniversary.
I wonder if this figure will increase during 2011?
Admittedly, for almost all papers, looking back at how they covered HIV/Aids in the 80s would be highly embarrassing.

1 comment:

  1. The Radio 4 documentary hasn't come up on BBC iPlayer yet - not sure if it ever will.
    If not it's repeated on Monday February 14th.