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Andy Bell on “27,000”: A music video about HIV stigma, 25 years later

When the short video “27000” premiered at London Pride in 1996, featuring a live performance from Jimmy Somerville, the world of HIV was a much different place. The new HIV drug “cocktail” that would finally curb the epidemic was only in its first weeks of use, with no promises it would eventually succeed.27,000 people in the United Kingdom had died of AIDS, giving the video its name.The stunned crowd of 160,000 Pride revelers, while thrilled with Somerville’s appearance, were confronted by a video dramatizing the heartache of HIV stigma.

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