News reached us this week that the #AIDSMemoryUK campaign founded by Ash Kotak, a long-term survivor of HIV, has announced that the London AIDS Memorial will be centrally located on Tottenham Court Road, close to the locations of: the first AIDS Ward in the former Middlesex Hospital; the VD (STD) clinice that saw some of the first patients in the UK in James Pringle House; and the busiest HIV clinic in the UK, the Bloomsbury Clinic.

“The people we lost to AIDS, the people who live on with HIV, and all those who helped and supported us then and now, deserve a special place where we can remember and pay our heartfelt respects.”

Tony Whitehead MBE, long-term survivor, Patron of AIDS Memory UK

Shortly, the artists of a newly commissioned structure will be announced. Watch out for the awareness raising and fundraising events at LGBTQ+ venues and other safe venues around London:

  • Halfway to Heaven
  • Phœnix Arts Club
  • The Old Ship
  • Zodiac Bar London
  • West 5
  • The Glory
  • The Royal Vauxhal Tavern.

#AIDSMemoryUK was established in 2016 by writer Ash Kotak, who has been living with HIV since 1993. AIDS Memory UK is the official campaign which has the support of the London Assembly, politicians, celebrities, activists, and people living with HIV and those who lost people to AIDS From all of the communities most affected.

LondonAIDSMemorial – TTCR:Jason Reid

“As we prepare to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the death of Terry Higgins, it is right that there is a permanent memorial to those who have died from AIDS related illnesses in the UK. This memorial should not only appropriately remember those we have lost but also spur us on to our life-changing goal of ending new HIV cases by 2030”

Ian Green, CEO, THT (Terrence Higgins Trust)

Most importantly, it has been recognised that the people of the UK living with HIV do not want a national memorial located in London as this suggests that London AIDS deaths are unfairly more valid that other AIDS deaths. The National AIDS Memorial will link all the existing UK AIDS Memorials via a website and a QR code at each site so that it is truly national. My hope is that it will continue to be updated to include any future memorials that are added to the list around the United Kingdom.

When will we see one in Northern Ireland?

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If you want to donate to the campaign, please visit the GoFundMe page set up by Ash Kotak.