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‘Aids Angel’ – I gave love in a time of prejudice and fear: Ruth Coker Burks cared for hundreds of HIV+ gay men abandoned by their families

‘Aids Angel’ – I gave love in a time of prejudice and fear: Ruth Coker Burks cared for hundreds of HIV+ gay men abandoned by their families

FromOutlook


‘Aids Angel’ – I gave love in a time of prejudice and fear: Ruth Coker Burks cared for hundreds of HIV+ gay men abandoned by their families

FromOutlook

ratings:
Length:
41 minutes
Released:
Jun 10, 2021
Format:
Podcast Episode

Description

As a young woman in the mid-1980s, Ruth Coker Burks had a chance encounter with a man with Aids, who had been left to die alone in a quarantined hospital room in Hot Springs, Arkansas in the US. She stepped in to comfort him in his final hours, and word soon spread that she was the only person willing to help such men in this deeply conservative town. At the height of the Aids crisis she developed a huge support network for gay men with HIV who had been abandoned by their families, even burying some of those who died in her own family cemetery. Ruth tells Emily Webb how she was vilified by her church and community for her work, but became a vocal campaigner and Aids educator.

Get in touch: outlook@bbc.com

Presenter: Emily Webb
Producer: Rebecca Vincent

Picture: Ruth Coker Burks
Credit: Caroline M. Holt
Released:
Jun 10, 2021
Format:
Podcast Episode