World AIDS Day 2013


Today marks World AIDS Day 2013 and The Independent on Sunday reports that the battle against Aids is being won, with deaths down, a record numbers of people being treated, and new cases among children down by more than half.

But ongoing discrimination against sufferers remains the biggest obstacle to winning the war, according to the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAIDS) although their executive director, Michel Sidibé says: “We are winning against this epidemic, we are seeing a decline in new infections, an increase in people treated… we have broken the conspiracy of silence.” For the first time, he said, authorities can see “an end to an epidemic that has wrought such staggering devastation around the world”.

As we’ve learned with work on the Plymouth LGBT archive, it’s incredibly important and empowering for people to recall the struggles of the past and take pride in how far they’ve come . . . also to remember the people who’ve been lost along the way.

With that in mind, Kevin Kelland a major contributor to the archive, has written this wonderful poem which we’d like to share with you today:

This is a poem I wrote in July dedicated to Ivor, Anthony and Alexander, Nick and Tony and many many more

At one with them
A media frenzy! God’s wrath! A plague!
Where does it come from?
Africa? Haiti? USA?
Let’s be ambiguously vague.
It’s a plague that’s only gay!

Tombstone on icebergs that melted on TV screens
HIV, AIDS so often seen!
Being a survivor, looking back in a window of time
Reflects those thoughts in my mind.

Angels have come and gone
An early frost came to pluck them out.
No spring, summer or fall for them.
They didn’t stay around very long.

The pain of loss cutting me like a knife,
Now just a memory in my heart.
Like the loss of a partner, husband, wife.
All seems like a dream, so soon to part.

Now I am a man at one with them
With a message of mission
Continuing with a dedication to them
With a love and a passion.

Do you think HIV is gone
As we haven’t heard about it for so long?
No, now just silently spread, hovering,
People not really bothering.

It’s like it’s invisible now
But remember, they were very much here,
And visible too!

By Kevin Kelland, July 2013



  1. […] Read the Poem written and read by Kevin Kelland on the Plymouth LGBT Archive website. […]

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