Peter Tatchell recalls 'tenderness' of nursing care in the early days of HIV

Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell delivers LGBT history month lecture at the RCN 

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell praised the support nurses have shown to people with HIV since the 1980s.

He was speaking at the RCN during its Nursing Loud and Proud: the RCN and lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans activism event, part of the college’s LGBT history month programme. 

Mr Tatchell, who has campaigned for LGBT rights since the 1970s, said: ‘The tenderness of nursing staff made a positive difference to people with HIV. It was at a time when the country was gripped by HIV hysteria and in many quarters it was called the gay plague.’

He suggested British society has made ‘huge progress’ on LGBT rights in the past decade, but said even today, LGBT people do not always receive equal treatment in the NHS.

He gave a lecture on his work exposing the barbaric experiments by Nazi doctor Carl Værnet on gay concentration camp prisoners and the subsequent cover-up by authorities. 


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