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AIDSline West Midlands

January 1985 to January 1996

The Gay Community was initially the hardest hit by / and with statutory bodies finding it difficult to engage and cope with the scale of the epidemic it fell to gay men to organise themselves to combat the virus, to educate each other and to spread a safer sex message.

In Birmingham the first group set up was , which began in 1985. The charity relied on volunteers and also ran ‘buddying’ services, where people would visit gay men who had been ostracised and stigmatised by their own community.

In London one of the earliest UK AIDS patients, Terry Higgins, died in 1982. A group of his friends subsequently set up the Terry Higgins Trust, the UK’s first AIDS organisation, later to become the , which set up a Birmingham branch in 2001.

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