1994 - HIV/AIDS diagnosis: Cornwall

 

August 1994: Lidbury’s partner, Andrew Roger Smith was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Information about Andy’s HIV/AIDS diagnosis leaked within 24 hrs from Treliske hospital to the village where the couple lived. The couple then began a very public battle against institutional & public HIV/AIDS prejudice and homophobic discrimination.

 

Their home in the village of Brea, Nr Camborne subjected to dog excrement attack, graffiti, petrol through front door, the couple received hate mail and death threats.

 

Local Cornish youths pelted Andrew with stones.  Andy was at the time already blind as a result of an HIV/AIDS related symptomatic condition, ‘Cytomegalovirus’ :-  The hate campaign directed at Andy & Malcolm reported to Cornwall police.

 

 Devon & Cornwall Police. Quote; "Your gay and have HIV/AIDS, what do you expect?"

 

Jan 96: West Briton newspaper article 

 

Cornwall police did nothing to assist the victims or prevent the escalating hate crimes. The couple slept with pre-prepared petrol bombs on their window sill, least they needed to defend the couple’s home in which Andrew was blind & terminally ill.  The hostility & prejudice towards gay HIV/AIDS suffers in particular from Cornwall’s Police & other authorities in Cornwall was & still is appalling, despite police PR, spin, lip service to equality.  

 

Lidbury responded to the authority prejudice with an HIV/AIDS cartoon for the ICT newsletter:-

 

Some components of the Cornwall LGBT community rallied to Andy, in particular supportive some in the lesbian community

 

Sept 94: Front Cover ICT LGBT newsletter

 

Lidbury was later a trustee of the HIV/AIDS Cornwall Aids Council, trustee for the discretionary HIV/AIDS Sprocket Trust and gay men’s voluntary support worker for the Truro City Hospital GU Clinic. Lidbury organized and ran an LGBT supper group, along with a midweek lgbt social group (Jasmine Gardens, Parc Vean, Redruth). Also a LGBT summer weekend tea garden with real cream & jam scones, crumpets & teacakes (Somewhere on a Sunday) throughout 2003-05.

 

NB: Tea Garden: This was definitely NOT the USA interpretation of the gay slang term - Tea Party or Tea Room

 

The Cornwall AIDS Council, Truro City Hospital GU Clinic, Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Health Promotion unit adopted use of one of Lidbury’s cartoons for health promotion purposes.

 

Oct 94: Front Cover ICT LGBT newsletter

 

 

                                                 OMBUDSMAN ENQUIRY

 

May 1996 Lidbury & Smith won an Ombudsman enquiry & compensation against Kerrier

District Council for maladministration for failing to comply with housing benefit regulations

to Andrew, who was gay & terminally ill with HIV/AIDS.

 

May 1996: National LGBT Pink Paper Article 'Tin Pot Council'

May 1996: Camborne Packet 'Council pays for delays...'

May 1996: West Briton 'Council should pay..'

May 1996: Packet Newspapers  'Council pays up..'

 

Lidbury despite caring for & living with his partner Andy for seven & a half years Lidbury is

NOT HIV+ (2015). This is contrary to speculation & rumor actively encouraged by

homophobic police like Detective Constable Scott & Inspector Bolt of Devon & Cornwall

police in 2004.

 

May 1995: Lidbury arranged for a star in the Cygnus constellation to be named after his partner Andy

May 95: Sunday Independent Newspaper 'AIDS man gets star tribute' 

 

CORNWALL HIV/AIDS CONTROL ACT

Lidbury obtained a copy of the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Health Authority HIV/AIDS control Act Report a statutory document.  There were three facts that stood out to Lidbury:-

 

  • A ring fenced Cornwall HIV/AIDS prevention, care treatment budget of £600,000/yr

 

  • 71% of known cases of HIV in Cornwall were amongst men who had sex with men

 

  • Only £3,000 of the £600,000 Cornwall HIV/AIDS budget was spent on HIV preventative

       work on Men who had sex with men (0.5% of HIV/AIDS budget)

 

Lidbury reacted & drew an HIV/AIDS cartoon for the ICT & then went to town:-

 

Sept 95   West Briton '24 die from AIDS'

Oct 95    West Briton 'Why were we not invited to AIDS day'

 

Jan 96    West Briton 'Aids allegation'

Jan 96    West Briton 'Were treated as 2nd class'

Feb 96   Western Morning News 'Frontline Fight...'

Feb 96   Western Morning News 'Gays strike back'

 

Mch 96  Western Morning News 'Blue rose blossoms amongst briars of prejudice'

Sept 96  West Briton Sept  'Inquiry into claims'

Nov 96   Positive Nation 'Fear and loathing on the English riviera'

Dec 96   West Briton 'Delay in spending AIDS cash'

 

 

Other HIV stuff:-  Cornwall Gay Health

         Andrew Roger Smith deceased (1967-1996)  

 

NB: If you have concerns regarding HIV/AIDS or your sexual health in Cornwall 

KPS              Kernow Positive Support

GU Clinics   RCH Opening Hours 

 

Next go to - Equal Age of Homosexual Consent 

 

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Gay Cornwall
Gay Cornwall History
Gay Cornwall
Gay Cornwall
Gay Cornwall History