‘Police were raiding gay bars wearing gloves and masks’: What it was like to live through the Aids crisis in London | The Independent

Four decades after the Aids epidemic, Russell T Davies’ Channel 4 drama It’s a Sin has moved viewers and received critical acclaim. Christobel Hastings meets those who lived through the crisis in London and asks how realistic the portrayal is.

Forty years ago, reports of a mysterious new illness swept through the gay community. What started as a handful of cases in the US soon spiralled into a worldwide epidemic and, by the end of the 1980s, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Aids) had claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. But decades later, stories exploring the impact on the British gay community have largely gone untold.

It was inevitable, then, that Russell T Davies would spark conversations with his powerful new drama, It’s a Sin. The show follows the lives of three young gay men, Ritchie Tozer (Olly Alexander), Roscoe Babatunde (Omari Douglas) and Colin Morris-Jones (Callum Scott Howells) who move to London in 1981. Along with Ritchie’s university best friend Jill (Lydia West), the group converges in a dilapidated flatshare and set out to explore everything the city has to offer: friendships, house parties, and plenty of wild sex. But as the chosen family embrace their newfound freedom, tragedy looms on the horizon.

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