Memoir: Living And Loving In The Age Of AIDS


A Memoir – Derek Frost

This memoir is an important and inspirational addition to the gay literary canon, due to be published on 13th April, and endorsed by Matthew Parris below. It’s a rare record which is already exciting interest amongst the LGBTQ community, and beyond. With a new pandemic now challenging our world population, its arrival is timely.

This is the tale of a devastating pandemic, of lives cut painfully short – it’s also a love story.

Derek, a distinguished designer, and J, his husband, a pioneering entrepreneur and creator of both The Embassy Club, London’s equivalent to NYC’s Studio 54, and the iconic Heaven, Europe’s largest gay dance club, met and fell in love more than 40 years ago.

In the early 1980s, their friends began to get sick and die – AIDS had arrived in their lives. When they got tested, J received what was then a death sentence; he was HIV Positive.

While the onset of AIDS strengthened stigma and fear globally, they confronted their personal crisis with courage, humour, and an indomitable resolve to survive. J’s battle lasted six long years.

Turning to spiritual reflection, yoga, nature – and always to love – Derek describes a transformation of the spirit, how compassion and empathy rose, phoenix-like, from the flames of sickness and death, and how he and J founded the charity Aids Ark, which helped to save, amongst the world’s most marginalised people, more than 1,000 HIV Positive lives.

This is a story of joy and triumph; about facing universal challenges; about the great rewards that come from giving back. Derek speaks for a generation who lived through a global health crisis, that many refused even to acknowledge. His is a powerful story chronicling this extraordinary era.

“With notable exceptions, surprisingly little of so personal a nature has been written about the Gay Plague, about HIV infection and AIDS. Almost exclusively these records have focused on dying rather than on surviving. As a gay man who experienced what I experienced, and who did what I did, I felt it important, imperative even, to add to this thin record; to tell the story of two people who experienced the AIDS pandemic from so central a position; to share how this changed us in ways that led us, through Aids Ark, to help save HIV Positive lives across the world.”

“Derek Frost writes with unsentimental honesty: a stark witness that has been largely absent from the literature. This book is both a history and an inspiration.”
Matthew Parris, Political Writer and Broadcaster

“This is a poignant and heart-touching memoir which gives the forty year global HIV pandemic a truly human face.”
Professor Linda-Gail Bekker, Past President International AIDS Society

Publishers: Watkins Books, London
Non UK distribution: Penguin Random House

Available globally from 13 April 2021 through Amazon and all good book retailers
Pre-Ordering available now

All revenue due to the author from sales will be donated to Aids Ark

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