Tell Your Story

I'm doing an interview in the next couple of weeks for a documentary called Aids Since 80's. Paul Coleman and Adam Roberts are producing the film.

This is a film about survival against the odds..

There has not yet been a UK cinema documentary film about the lost generation - the many who died of AIDS related

illnesses throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Nor has there been a film that properly captures the lives of those who

survive today. ‘Aids Since the 80s’ (working title) will be an independent ground-breaking feature length documentary film

about those who were lost and featuring many who have endured those times - and rose above the crushing negativity

that surrounded the epidemic. This is a film celebrating survival against the odds.

Film makers Paul Coleman and Adam Roberts feel passionately about this important and hitherto relatively ignored part of

gay history and are determined to bring to the screen the astonishing and moving experiences of those who survive. Paul

puts it like this:

“We are looking for help in making a film about one of the most important historical periods in living gay history - the

epidemic caused by AIDS in the 1980s and 90s. We are not making a history lesson, this will be the story of those

who survived and those who were lost. What is life like now for those people who underwent relentless medication, what

effects has that had on us? What was it like to lose those we loved? Do we have a good quality of life today? Long

term survival we may have achieved but at what cost? We need your stories and your experiences and we need the

stories of those you knew and lost during that time. This is not a history lesson of the time it is the real story of the real

people who were part of that history.

This is also a chance to remember those who were taken from us. We want to celebrate the life stories of those we

knew so well. Surely their stories are also the ones we should know about too, learn from, celebrate, give freedom to -

allow a small space to let them speak freely in a way they were unable to as they were rushed towards the end of life?

Are there others of you in or out of the public eye who did have a voice in the 80s and 90s that went unheard? Did

you find a way to help people living with HIV at that time with support groups or by Buddying or did you help shape

medical or emotional treatments? What of our own stories and experience? What is it to be a ‘Survivor’ of those times,

how does that affect us today? Where do we go from here?”


We are looking to interview as many people as possible on film who would like to be included in our project about HIV

and AIDS. The project will culminate in a feature length documentary film, formed principally out of these interviews. We

want to make a film built on actual experiences, on actual lives. You may or may not be HIV+ yourself but your life will

have been changed positively or negatively by the AIDS epidemic.

The interview may take 2 or 3 hours of your time and will take place in a safe environment either at your home or a

mutually agreeable location. The film crew will usually consist of two people: Paul Coleman and Adam Roberts. There will

be minimal camera and lighting equipment.

Anyone wanting to take part should email us at and leave contact details and a brief

outline of what story you would like us to hear. The goal is to interview as many and diverse people as possible, capturing

as varied a set of experiences as possible. If you have an idea for telling your story in a way other than being

interviewed e.g. through a performance piece, let us know.


Adam Roberts and Paul Coleman are life-long friends who began making films at 11 years of age. They have worked

professionally in the film and TV industries for more than 30 years, including for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and a number

satellite channels. They have directed, produced, executive produced and headed up departments in production houses.

Programmes have included documentaries, current affairs, light entertainment, lifestyle documentary series, live news and live

multicamera broadcasting. Aside from working for the BBC and Channel 4, Adam has made award winning independent

films, and has recently begun making moving image artworks for gallery exhibition, while Paul has been 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. Both their lives have been deeply affected by HIV and AIDS.

two point zero ltd, registered office 14 gresley road, London n19 3jz. company number 06848434

10 Replies

  • Good morning - I would really like to be involved in this project and feel it is also important to also have a (straight white) woman's perspective.

    When I was diagnosed back in 2002 after nearly dying from an AIDS related condition I didn't know any other women living with HIV. It was a very lonely time for me and I will always remember and be grateful for how the community of Gay men welcomed me into their circle.

    I have lost friends to this disease, I have also made many friends because of it.

    I started a support group called Thrivine about nine years ago and we are still running strong and I am often a first contact for the newly diagnosed. I have people in the group who have been diagnosed for over thirty years and have somehow made it through those terrible early years of AIDS.

    I also have a website and blog called hivine http// and have received over 12 million hits (about five thousand a day) and hope in some way this lessens the isolation so many people are forced to suffer due to stigma, which unfortunately is still rife.

    I often speak at conferences and have done radio, newspaper and television interviews.

    I am an artist and my paintings reflect my journey with HIV.

    Please feel free to contact me - by email or mobile,


    Best Regards,

  • Hi I'm Jonno,

    How many oeople do you know who have had HIV for so long? I was diagnosed with HTLV3 in 1983 before they had changed its name to HIV. I thought i was the only one left. I've still got some problems caused by being on the toxic stuff they used in the early clinical trials but people can't understand what I'm talking about when I mention this. People at the Jobcentre can't accept that I don't know what drugs caused what condition because they failed the trials and were never named, and no doctor can verify what I'm saying because nobody else survived the trials long enough to develop the same symptoms. It's like I'm saying I'm still getting mercury and arsenic poisoning from pox cures, they think That HIV is no big deal and reject everything, and because they can't see into the locked room in my mind where the events of the time are kept, they do and say things that are a bit insensitive and would have had them fired if said in the mid 80's. . My consultant would have sorted any problems I had out but he retired which neither of us expected to see happening. and at the same time my notes went missing. They had to really because some doctors did some very interesting things in the past but for all the right reasons. I'm interested to find out if other people are being treated as badly as I am by councils, Jobcentre etc who can't understand why I'm not working. A housing officer wrote that as I had survived HIV for so long she could not see why it would cause me any problems now and regected my housing application leaving me homeless. I was lucky not to end up sleeping rough But 20 years ago they were trying to get me to move out of my flat and take a ground floor 2 bed council flat. It's nice to know there are others left. How are they getting on? Are they noticing a lack of support ? There's no supportive gay community now and I even get agro from places like THT who said to me " we haven't had anyone like you here for years, we don't provide the sort of services you need anymore, you'll have to find a specialist advisor." I even had "my story" removed from their web site because ithey couldn't handle it and if I ever meet Stefan the manager, I'm going to punch him and turn his universe into the one I experienced

    I'm glad it wasn't just me that lasted, I was starting to think one of those trial drugs must have. killed me and made me come back as a zombie.

    I have a collage of photographs that sum up my life experience without having to upset people with the details. It's a shame I can't post it here. It contains among other things images of what for me was the icon of the time and everyone has forgotten about, the AIDS quilt. The little blanket that grew until it needed its own postcodes.

  • This is a fantastic initiative to preserve the history and acknowledge those who helped us directly or indirectly to be where are today .

  • Hey Olive, get int ouch - or 07787 530922

  • I would rather my flesh and sanity preserved by not having been thrown to the DWP wolves if I had any say in this. I don't want to become a faded black and white photograph made to look as if HIV is an old threat that rareley wins, like the one of Terrence Higgins who in reality lived his life in full colour and not so long ago.

  • Hello there,

    I just came across your post and certainly got me interested.

    I have had friends who had lost lives and has certainly affected me.

    If you are doing a documentary about HIV, I am a music composer and I'd like to get involved in making the original score for this.

    If this is something it interests you, please send me an email to I am a professional composer and have done many films before.

    Look forward to your response.

    Maz Iannone.

  • PLEASE get in touch to or call 07787 530922. You can see the sort of stuff I do on Linked In - cheers - Jo Josh

  • I am on the steering group of UKCAB, also a founder member of CUHRRC (Canada UK Rehabilitation and Research Collaborative. The organisation now also members in the US and Ireland.

    I am also a long term member of Body and Soul, and have worked on comms projects with THT, Positive UK and other organisations. I have also done a lot of media interviews - BBC Breakfast/BBC News/Independent/ Observer. So I have told my story.

    A guy who merits inclusion in the documentary, Francesco Ibanez-Carrasco, recently published a booking which says it all from a gay perspective: "Flesh Wounds and Purple Flowers ... the cha-cha years." I have a copy, as he is a member of CUHRRC, and we are both writers.

    Let me know if you want further info on or 07787 530922 or landline 01737 270220, Cheers, Jo

  • If Francesco wants to be included in the documentary here are the contact details:

  • Great - will get in touch with Francesco by email - we are both taking part in a conference call about EACS tomorrow afternoon, with other members of CUHRRC, we are both founding members. Incidentally you can look Francesco's details up on the CUHRRC website, and mine, although they have done something strange with the photo and I closely resemble a Martian with a long thin head (you will see what I mean when you look.) I am also HIV+, and if you want to find out more about me, there is an amount on the CUHRRC web site an also on Linked In, where the pix show that I am in fact human! I am very happy to help in any way that I can with the film - I am a comms consultant - and also participate. I have done TV and print before and am comfortable in my own skin now.

    Mobile is 07787 530922 email


    Jo Josh