Former health secretary Norman Fowler: ‘Some said those with HIV should be in isolation. Perpetually’

ads

His public health campaign at the height of the crisis saved countless lives. As a new generation learns about those dark days from It’s a Sin, the politician considers his legacy

In late 1985, Norman Fowler, who was then the health secretary in Margaret Thatcher’s government, sent a letter to the prime minister. He said that there had been 275 people with Aids in the UK that year. Of these, 144 had died. Without action, he added, a further 20,000 people would be infected with HIV by 1988. The UK was on the precipice of a public health emergency. Fowler encountered a lot of scepticism.

See also  Pope Francis Meets Top Iraq Shiite Cleric Grand Ayatollah Sistani

“People at the time said that I was entirely taken over by the subject, and that I overexaggerated,” says Lord Fowler, now 83 and speaking via Zoom from his home in Fulham, south-west London. He looks composed, and every bit the lord in recess, wearing a pastel pink shirt underneath a green jumper. Behind him sits a glass cabinet stuffed with weighty texts and political memoirs.

See also  IFS criticises 'remarkable' move not to phase out universal credit uplift

Continue reading...

ads

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply