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HIV Writing

I'm an experienced writer and journalist on AIDS, HIV and all matters relating to this highly complex and politicised epidemic.

This page collects together pieces I've written on HIV and AIDS over the years on different topics. Some I've laid out on the page, others are linked to documents or hyperlinks. The majority appeared in Positive Nation, others appeared in Aids Treatment Update and the old Capital Gay, a couple are unpublished.        

Postcard from Delhi An appreciation and summary of the recent Microbicides Meeting in Delhi, written for who are now part of POZ magazine.

HIV 101 A week before I was due to fly off to a conference in Rio POZ asked me if I'd write an online 'Just Been Diagnosed?' guide for HIV rookies. I slapped it down in record time. They must have liked it because it's still up there three years later. I specially like the disclosure page.

Treatment pieces A selection of pieces from Positive Nation and ATU. Includes Positive Nation's drug tips for hardcore (HardOn?) clubbers plus a vast unpublished piece of research into the use of over-the-counter vitamins, minerals and supplements which I wrote when researching the NAM Directory of Complementary Therapies in 2000.

Positive Nation leaders A gorgeous opportunity to pontificate on the subject of my choice to 50,000 people a month. Sometimes I was even right.

Stopping the pandemic I'm only putting this in because it appeared in The Guardian! In their World Aids Day Supplement of 20 November 2003.

Features  A very short list of pieces I particularly like. Includes portraits of HIV in Thailand, South Africa and Russia and the piece "Will the UK kill the Global Fund?" which I like to think contributed to a change of policy at DfID.

Interviews With generals and foot soldiers in the war against HIV, and a couple with other HIV+ writers - Andrew Sullivan and Mark Ravenhill.

Reports A sample report, for the African capacity-building organisation CHAIN.  Here is the draft (pdf).

Other writing

This is a selection of pieces I've written over the years which aren't straight news or info pieces on HIV/AIDS. Many were written speculatively or for my own amusement, others have been published. They're often a lot more personal in tone and are a good guide to what I 'really think' on certain issues.

The Lazarus Columns A series I wrote mainly in 1999-2001, sparked off by my own recovery from near-death and the various thoughts swirling round my head at the time. They were pitched to various publications as a regular HIV/Aids column. Writer friends really liked them but I suspect the tone was just too damn edgy for the very 'straight' gay press in this country...

World Aids Day 2002 address I'm not often accused of spirituality. But I was brought up in a churchgoing family. Something occasionally still tugs at me, and it tugged me into St. Paul's Cathedral, London when I was asked to speak at a World Aids Day service. "What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence," said Wittgenstein, but I did my best.

Red dragon, yellow dragon I find fiction incredibly difficult, but loved writing this story. It was intended to help kids on HIV drugs, to teach them about drug resistance and the importance of adherence. It was published in the Christmas 2001 issue of Positive Nation. As kids stories should be, it's also peppered with adult in-jokes about the pharmaceutical industry.

Why Eminem is brilliant This now reads like a piece of rather embarrassing fan-worship for someone who is, after all, just another pop star. It was prompted by sheer devilment and the wish to annoy certain literal-minded gay activists (for whom I generally have the highest regard...)

They don't love us. Get over it Written in the wake of George Bush's second victory and a particularly bad-tempered spat between Christian Africans and gay men in the pages of Positive Nation...


Job pitch

I can turn dry scientific abstracts into interesting news, distil an elegant report from a boxful of papers, put out a punchy press release, design (as I hope you can see) a readable website, summarise a complex issue like pharmaceutical prices or drug resistance in 2000 words, and subedit dyslexic rants into crisp English. If your organisation needs a writer, contact me.

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