as a writer, and a lay person I have interviewed and followed a number of people with HIV, both in Sweden and in San Francisco, and I have also followed partners, family members, volunteers and staff at hospitals, and places like Coming Home Hospice, Names Project and SHANTI in San Francisco.
The title To be a witness comes from an interview I made with a volunteer in San Francisco, Gary Shepard. He said he was there to witness the suffering of his client, because if no one saw it, it was meaningless.
I had to add the word really, To really be a witness, to avoid songs and Christian links with testimonies of faith on the Internet, but I don´t mind; To really be a witness is good, to really see, to really hear.
I have published a book in Swedish, called There are few who talk about them, meaning the people that died of AIDS related illnesses, or sometimes trough suicide, during those years. It was a very silent epidemic in Sweden, and now one rarely hears about the people that passed away.
This work started at a graveyard in Stockholm, in 1986, and I will write a bit about what happened in Sweden, but this blog is mainly about what I saw and heard in San Francisco, and Oakland, from 1987 until today.
You are welcome to follow me on my journey, as I look back.