Blood victim’s story will be told in pioneering new Aids documentary



Blood victim’s story will be told in pioneering new Aids documentary

08:00 01 December 2016

Emma Youle


Mark Ward. Picture: Polly Hancock

A victim of the contaminated blood scandal will feature in a pioneering new documentary charting the Aids pandemic through the stories of those caught up in the crisis.

Royal Free Hospital patient Mark Ward was told aged 14 that he had contracted HIV from infected Factor VIII blood products used to treat him for the blood clotting disorder haemophilia.

At the time the diagnosis was a death sentence and Mark, now aged 47, did not believe he would live.

He will talk about his experience of HIV in a pioneering new film documenting the rise of the Aids pandemic in the 1980’s.

The feature film will have no narrator and the story will instead be told through the oral testimony of those caught up in the crisis.

It will be created using excerpts of 100 in-depth interviews with infected men and women, including intravenous drug users, long-term survivors, carers and clinicians, friends and lovers, brothers, sisters and parents.

Many of those taking part are speaking publicly for the first time and it is hoped the interviews will form an unparalleled oral archive of the story of Aids in the UK.


Mark said: 

“Constantly living in the shadow of death and grief takes its toll but by taking action we can make a difference. Tackling the stigma is the biggest challenge we now face and I feel this film can play a major role in that.”

The film’s makers, life-long friends Paul Coleman and Adam Roberts, say they are proud to put on the record this powerful grass roots history.

A short preview of the documentary, which is still in the making, was screened at Channel 4 Cinema on Tuesday.

At a Q&A after the screening, the film’s makers appealed for help to raise £230,000 needed to complete the project and bring it to cinema screens.

They are also keen to hear from families who lost loved ones to Aids to take part in the filming, including parents and siblings of those who have died.


To find out more about the project visit or email


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Read More about AIDS since the 80s below




We are making a feature length documentary that reflects how HIV and AIDS impacted mainly gay men, their partners and friends during the first years of the epidemic in the UK before effective treatment was available. We want to remember both the lost generation of gay men who died during those years and tell the stories of those who have survived. Our aim is to interview and record the experiences of 100 people who have been touched by HIV and AIDS.

Although the directors leading this project have experience making programmes for major broadcasters, we did not want this to become just another television programme which might not do justice to a profound story that belongs (for the most part) to the gay community. We want to give the film the freedom to speak for itself, without agenda, to simply record the history of HIV and AIDS as told by those who were directly impacted. We therefore decided that this project would be wholly independent. And so our project is led by a small group of people directly involved with the story of HIV and AIDS – a grass roots approach to film making.

The film will also form the basis of a substantial archive of in-depth interviews. The archive will contain all of the one hundred individual interviews in their entirety (around two hours for each interview) for access by researchers and other interested parties. Relevant art, performance pieces and music will also be incorporated into the archive.

But we need to hear your stories and the experiences of those you knew and lost during that time for this project to be a success. So please contact us if you are interested in sharing your stories for the film.


The Press Launch and Fundraiser 

A twenty minute work in progress excerpt from the film AIDS Since the 80s (working title) was screened for the first time.
There was an opportunity to meet the production team and
some of the people who will feature in the film.

Tuesday 29th November
Channel 4 Cinema

The Film:
This is a feature length film project revealing how those caught up in the crisis of the 80s and 90s HIV pandemic lived, survived and died. Intended for theatrical release in 2017, it will include 100 in-depth interviews – conducted with men, women, long-term survivors, carers and clinicians. The stories told are sometimes harrowing, sometimes hilarious, other times sobering and always deeply moving.
The film is unaided by narration – it is a grass roots history stripped back to the stark reality of memories. It will be the story as told by people who were there during the pandemic – not just those positively diagnosed, but their friends, lovers, brothers, sisters and parents. This is a film about all those touched by AIDS.

The first feature length film exploring the pandemic from a UK perspective for cinema release.

An Archive:
The 100 interviews in full, will form an unparalleled archive that will become surely one of the most important filmed histories of HIV and AIDS in the UK. The goal is to secure this archive for future generations – as history, as testimony, as proof.

Click on the links below the pictures to read more and pledge your support / help.


More photographs from the Press Launch

t: 07879 420 931
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