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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > Issue 277 > OUT LIVING A DEATH SENTENCE

OUT LIVING A DEATH SENTENCE

BEING DIAGNOSED WITH HIV IN THE EIGHTIES AND NINETIES LEFT MOST GAY MEN — USUALLY CORRECTLY — THINKING THEY HAD LITTLE TIME LEFT TO LIVE. INCREDIBLY, SOME BEAT THE ODDS AND ARE HEALTHY TODAY. BUT MANY OF THEM CARRY THE SCARS OF THE PAST AND A STRONG SENSE OF GUILT SIMPLY FOR SURVIVING WHEN SO MANY OF THEIR FRIENDS AND LOVERS DID NOT

The 67th Academy Awards in 1995 will always be remembered as the night Robert Zemeckis’ saccharine dramedy Forrest Gump confirmed its standing as one of the greats of modern cinema, turning 13 nominations into six wins, including for the coveted best picture, best director and best actor.

It became such an integral part of the cinematic zeitgeist that it was eventually selected for preservation in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry, in part for its engagement with the more contentious aspects of America’s turbulent past.

But while Tom Hanks’ protagonist literally stumbles through iconiic scenes and historic scandals, such as the war in Vietnam and Watergate, even influencing their outcome, his experience of the era’s defining health crisis — the HIV epidemic — is far subtler, with just the implication that the condition which causes his wife’s death is, in fact, HIV/Aids.

Tim, 51, will always remember the 1995 Oscars as the night his own partner, Carlos, died of an Aids-related illness. They’d met six years before — both at the age of 25 — in a New York gym after Tim had moved to the city from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

TIM, 51 LIVING WITH HIV FOR 21 YEARS
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About Attitude

On the cover, pop superstar Robbie Williams talks exclusively to John Grant about drink, drugs, sex, fame… and finding happiness. Elsewhere in this issue, Spice Girl Melanie C on her new album, gay rapper Cakes Da Killa, artist and activist Scottee, and the real lives of TV’s most famous gay ‘housewives’ as we meet the Gogglebox Gays. Plus, Outliving a Death Sentence: meet the men who have been living with HIV since the bleak days of the 80s and 90s.
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