PrEP Not a whiff of homophobia but a stench


The row over PrEP is a chilling reminder to many of us of a time we thought had passed. In the early 1980s news began to emerge of a ‘gay plague’ sweeping America. In 1982 AIDS claimed its first life in the UK when Terence Higgins died. My late partner Lawrence who died in 1995, […]
A love by any other name


This is how it was. In the early 1980s, a whole generation of gay men who had scarcely known the ability to live and love openly was besieged by an epidemic. Because it turned sex into something dangerous, it was an epidemic which for more than a decade scarred love and relationships. It framed our […]
PrEP: a sweet pill to swallow


It’s not often that I shed a tear at a public policy announcement. But today I did. I cried when I heard that Scotland had become the first of the UK nations to approve the provision of PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) by the NHS to prevent HIV. The announcement was made by the Scottish Medicines Consortium […]
How stigma killed us too


It was just another Saturday afternoon in Stoke Newington, around the middle of January 1993. Lawrence had sent me to Safeway for the last few things we needed for dinner. I’d left him preparing mussels we’d bought earlier that day at Steve Hatt’s fish market on Essex Road in Islington. We were expecting guests. I […]
We’ve beaten the virus — it’s time to kill the stigma


Disclosures, published by Stewed Rhubarb Press, is a book of sometimes harsh contrasts. Of visibility and invisibility, silence and noise, innocence and experience, openness and closedness — despair and hope. And the contrast at its core is about shame. It is, unashamedly, a book about living with HIV in Scotland today. And yet, without the shame that […]
‘It’s a Sin’ is dramatic art as redress— it tells our story and gives a voice to those who didn’t make it


‘The houses are all gone under the sea. The dancers are all gone under the hill.’ East Coker, The four quartetT S Eliot In the beginning, I sobbed. At the denouement, I howled. I cry routinely at the telly. But this was different. These tears came not just from shallow, passing sentiment but deep, permanent […]
It’s World AIDS Day again and the fight goes on — ‘We must love one another or die.’


“At the moment I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later and thus we don’t have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.” The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Volume Three, 1925–1930 It’s World AIDS Day again. Like any such event, […]
‘It’s A Sin’ was so much more than a TV show — a year on, I carry it in my heart


In the dead of night over Christmas 1988, I became aware that hardly any of my fingernails had a lunula. I was 27. Until that very moment, their absence had completely passed me by. A lunula is the half-moon shape at the base of your nail, just above the cuticle. The realisation came as I […]
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