Main content

The Decimation of a Scene

When AIDS hit London’s gay scene in the early 1980s, many of those affected faced prejudice and fear, but the community soon rallied to raise awareness.

When AIDS hit London’s gay scene in the early 1980s, many of those affected faced prejudice and fear, but the community soon rallied to raise awareness and care for dying patients.

Rupert Whitaker had come out at school at the age of 15, and became part of a new wave of young, gay men filling the buzzing gay club scene emerging around London's Soho.

But this boom in London's commercial gay scene also happened as a new disease emerged, which was initially affecting gay men - a disease originally known as GRID (Gay Related Immune Deficiency).

In 1982 Rupert's boyfriend, Terry Higgins, became one of the first people to die of an AIDS-related illness in the UK, and his death motivated his friends to set up the UK's first charity dedicated to AIDS awareness, The Terrence Higgins Trust.

In this programme, Rupert looks back at how the British gay community was initially affected by AIDS and how it responded.

Narrator: Chris Pavlo
Producer: Richard Fenton-Smith

Available now

14 minutes

Last on

Tue 9 Jun 2020 13:45