London, 1982. 13 years after the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, the largest gay club in Europe opens its doors, and Heaven is packed.
Whispers begin to circulate of a mysterious new disease, a ‘gay cancer’ from New York, and Terry Higgins becomes one of the first people in Britain to die from what will become known as an Aids-related disease.
Revolutionary activists and doctors come together to discover what they can about this new virus as the number of infected starts to rise. Fear and stigma spread across the nation, contributing to a culture of extreme homophobia and ignorance. Gay activists take charge of trying to spread educational messages about safe sex for the first time.
The stories of men including David, Pete, John and Tony, recorded at the time, bring these experiences to life.
Their real voices are lip synced by actors, giving first-hand insight into their lives at the time. They try to understand what they are hearing about Aids and cope with discovering their diagnoses at a time of heightened stigma and fear, when there is no cure.
As 1985 arrives, and with it the first HTLV-3 antibody test, the numbers of those infected with HIV gradually become clear, and the the true scale of the epidemic begins to emerge.
Aids: The Unheard Tapes begins Monday 27th June at 9:30pm on BBC Two.