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Digital Subscriptions > GCN > 348 > Building a place of Memory

Building a place of Memory

As we approach the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day, and take a moment to acknowledge almost 35 years of HIV/AIDS activism in Ireland, it’s also time to critically acknowledge how we negotiated what I call ‘the war’ - our experience of the AIDS pandemic in Ireland.

Since the first notified cases of AIDS in Ireland (in 1985), there have been over 300 deaths and thousands upon thousands of HIV infections. Globally, over 30 million people have died of AIDS complications.

People are still dying of AIDS somewhere on the globe. People are still acquiring AIDS somewhere in Ireland. The reasons behind global AIDS deaths are self-evident, generally a combination of poverty, lack of sex education and decent health care and a moribund religious ideology. Closer to home, it’s more often ignorance around sexual health and lack of access to sexual health education resulting in late diagnoses that underlines new cases of full blown AIDS.

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In this super-hot Sex Issue, we are celebrating sex positivity and body positivity, all of the good stuff, basically. In a host of incredible interviews and opinion pieces, the community speaks about the issues that matter to them. The fabulous Evvol talk about showcasing lesbian eroticism in their work, while a special report details the afterparty scene for gay men. We speak to Mary Shannon, the custodian of the Irish Names Quilt, while iconic photographer Wolfgang Tillmans talks about his latest exhibition. In recognition of the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day, we highlight the activists and volunteers of ACT UP and KnowNow and look at key moments in Ireland's battle against the virus. We also speak to people from across the spectrum of varying relationships about why theirs works for them. We think you'll enjoy this one!