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Our Forgotten Epidemic. Part Three - our communities take action

Our Forgotten Epidemic is a six-part series about Aotearoa New Zealand's response to HIV and AIDS, and some of the many brave individuals who changed the course of history.

The people most affected by AIDS in the early 1980s were gay men, people who injected drugs and sex workers - those who were already on the margins of society. At that time in New Zealand, all anal sex, the possession of drug paraphernalia and sex work were illegal. As the threat of HIV and AIDS became more widely known, the stigma and discrimination these communities faced only intensified. Something had to change - starting with those archaic laws. This was an ugly time for our nation; but it was also a time of perseverance, hope, and standing up for our human rights.

Our Forgotten Epidemic is produced by Wavelength Creative in collaboration with Burnett Foundation Aotearoa. Our thanks to them for allowing the series to be shared via

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Audio courtesy of:Burnett Foundation Aotearoa, Auckland
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Location:Aotearoa New Zealand, Oceania