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THE ENEMY THAT LIVES WITHIN - Tuesday 26 December 21:00-22:00

The second of the new Radio Ballads concerns people living with HIV/AIDS. Six women and men talk candidly about life with the virus - how they discovered they were HIV-positive, the effect the drugs have on them, and how people react when they disclose their connection with the virus. The ten outstanding original songs inspired by the interviews are personal and poignant, touching on the courage as well as the tragedy, the shame and the prejudice experienced by people living with HIV/AIDS.


"I'm not just HIV-positive. It's not the sum of what I am: there's a lot more to me than that ..."

The stories featured in this ballad are all highly individual. Cecilia is a Ugandan woman who fled her home country and contracted HIV/AIDS while in the UK; Betty Feldman speaks of her actor son who died of the virus; Ann Marie, a white South African, lost her British husband to the illness then discovered that he'd passed it on to her. Sophie discovered she was HIV-positive on her graduation day and went on to marry her boyfriend, with whom she hopes to have children; Maxwell, a teenage schoolboy in London, has a father who is also HIV-positive and Lynn, in her early twenties, contracted the virus through a blood transfusion.

Sara Parker

"It is impossible to understand the desolation of such a world blighted by the HIV virus unless you have experienced it."

Sara Parker, daughter of original Radio Ballads producer Charles Parker, was the interview-gatherer for this programme; her father's methods and humanity informed her work. The battle to find a cure for HIV/AIDS has been one of the most urgent ongoing areas of medical research in recent years; the support and medicine now available helps prolong patients' lives beyond expectation. This Radio Ballad illustrates some of the issues surrounding the condition.

Karine Polwart

"HIV is a hard thing to write about so I decided to write about the virus as if it was a person."


HIV/AIDS affects millions of people around the world. Do you have a viewpoint, or personal or family experiences that you'd like to share? Send us your comments.

Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.

Read what others have said.

Catherine from London
This wonderful honest broadcast gave me great comfort knowing that my emotions and feelings are shared by others who are affected by HIV. My husband was diagnosed 2 years ago,our marriage and devotion to each other has never been stronger. It meant so much to me to be able to relate to the feelings and thoughts of the wonderful people who shared their stories. Thank you Radio2 for covering a subject which carries such prejudice and ignorance, and is never given enough media attention. The music was inspiring and very beautiful.

steve price bradford
this program was absolutly stunning and reduced me to tears several times, these people are absolute heroes with the way they have dealt with their illness and should be held up as models to us all not outcast as some narrow minded people would make them. This should be compulsory listening ot just in schools but to every single person

Lucy Barnes, Nottingham
As a 18 year old student i began listening to the radio ballad as part of research for a geog enquire. I found it most touching andnow feel inspired to try and do some voluntary work with an aids organsiation. I think the subject was presented in a very humanistic approach something that is not often done in a world concerned with facts and figures rather than people. Thankyou.

Megan from sydney australia
I wish to say thank you for giving such a possitive view on the subject. from people who suffer or affect by the virus. I loved the way you put a face to the problem of the virus. people do not seee people with aids as being totaly real people, More like walking dead is how they see them. I hope that this is published and put on cd espically to pass onto schools to spread the message that people are people no matter whath they have. Thank you for making me smile about my Dad who die in 93 of aids.

Ian Opie West Sussex
I just want to congratulate you on such a wonderful programme... I lost friends in the UK in the 80's.......... You have put across all aspects of HIV in such a wonderful format. Well done to everyone concerned with the programme... Will the songs be released on a CD by any chance? Love and Peace Ianx

David from Newport in South Wales
Yippe some one is actually going to say some thing positive about this disgusting dangerous virus that lives with us every day. I love the "Hetros" of this world saying its a gay issue, remember that almost all of the newly reported infections in Wales alone were in "Hetros" - not that i wish to lable the virus, you ask them the "Hetros" what HIV is and they tell you it is AIDS. I congratulate you Radio Ballards and congratulate any one that has the strenght to do two things in life, one is to support the HIV fight and distroy the "labeling" of this virus and two support any one that is willing to take it on and keep it in the public arena and discuss this topic. WELL DONE TO YOU ALL WELL DONE A man living with a HIV man!

Brian, Brighton
My partner was diagnosed with HIV 4 years ago and is now healthier and stronger than ever. He regularly uses the gym and the diagnosis has made him value and maximise his life. I personally would like to mention that while HIV is a very serious condition it is no longer the death sentence it once was. Please celebrate those who dont allow HIV to affect their lives in quality - the people who even though they are affected do not let the virus destroy them.


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