The LASS History Project records the changing experiences of people affected by HIV over the years, while highlighting the extent to which HIV continues to disproportionately affect the most marginalised. It documents and celebrates the way people in Leicester came together to respond to the then, new virus and captures changes in attitudes, demography and health outcomes over the past 25 years.
LASS formed in 1987 as a telephone helpline for the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, at a time when it was almost impossible to find premises because of fear and stigma. 25 years later, we support over 500 people affected by HIV, we run a community rapid HIV testing service and work across communities to increase understanding and knowledge about HIV.
We received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop a history project to mark our 25th anniversary year. This project has created a publication and currently developing an archive, and will continue to produce mobile exhibition materials to capture the stories and experiences of people involved in LASS’s work over the past 25 years.
We highlight the distinctive characteristics of LASS, which include our location in the ethnically and culturally diverse city of Leicester and changes in our client group over the years.
While we show that HIV remains a significant local issue – with Leicester experiencing the 6th highest rising rate of infection in the country – we also celebrate the improved life expectancy of people with HIV, and show how LASShas evolved to meet changing needs and demands on our services.
It is our hope, that our history will inspire others and continue to raise awareness of the changing issues in responding to HIV and to challenge persistent myths and stereotypes.
- World AIDS Day Saturday 1st December 2012 (lass.org.uk)
- We’ve Got Something To Shout About!! (lass.org.uk)
- Archbishop Tutu, LASS International Patron, gives 3 key messages for World AIDS Day (lass.org.uk)
- There’s just one more thing before Christmas… (lass.org.uk)