Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Jonathan Blake, AIDS Memory UK patron and one of the first gay men in London to be diagnosed with HIV, welcomed plans for a sculpture (Attitude)
After decades of demand, a permanent memorial dedicated to people who have died of HIV and Aids is finally in the pipeline for central London.
The newly-commissioned sculpture spearheaded by AIDS Memory UK Campaign will be located on Tottenham Court Road.
Adam Harrison, Labour councillor for Bloomsbury, today told Attitude: "I’ve been working with Ash [Kotak, who established the AIDS Memory UK Campaign in 2016] on identifying Tottenham Court Road as the location for the London AIDS Memorial.
"Camden Council is really pleased to be part of this and we are advising the campaign on what steps to take next to deliver the memorial in Fitzrovia."
The plot will be close to the former Middlesex Hospital - home to the first Aids ward - plus James Pringle House, the clinic that saw some of the first patients in the UK, and the Bloomsbury Clinic, the busiest HIV clinic in the UK.
Artists involved in the sculpture, its form and exact unveiling date are yet to be revealed.
"We need somewhere here in London as there is in Brighton"
According to AIDS Memory UK reps, the site will link to other UK HIV and Aids memorials via a website and QR codes.
Jonathan Blake, AIDS Memory UK patron and one of the first gay men to be diagnosed with HIV in London, commented: "I would like a memorial to be created to the memory of those who have died from HIV. We need somewhere here in London as there is in Brighton.”
Ian Green, CEO of THT, added: “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."
AIDS Memory UK will stage a series of LGBTQ events across the capital this summer to increase awareness of the campaign and raise funds for the memorial. For more information and to donate to the campaign, visit the GoFundMe page here.
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