On this day, 20 years ago, the film-maker, painter, sculptor, gardener, author and queer rights activist Derek Jarman died of HIV. One of Britain's leading post-1945 avant garde artists, he is best remembered for his dazzling array of ground-breaking films. But it was as a HIV and queer rights campaigner that I knew him best.
Let's go back to the beginning and start with Madonna and me. Against what some people think is the gay 'stereotype', I'm not really one of her fans. However, my actions after watching her arrival on the red carpet and then performance, I played true to stereotype and took to social media to comment on her appearance.
Research published this week by Marie Stopes shows that of 4,000 adults not trying for a baby, a third of women and almost half of the men had unprotected sex at least once in the past year. And here's the surprising part. Around eight out of 10 of those having unprotected sex said they believed it was "very unlikely" that it would result in pregnancy or they'd contract a sexually transmitted infection. When it comes to our sex lives, it seems we cross our fingers and hope for the best. Yet 185,000 women accessed abortion services last year, which suggests that for quite a lot of us, it does happen. Half a million STIs were diagnosed last year too, some of them incurable and life-threatening.
Africa has lost a hero. A hero that fought oppressors, jailers and the international community that once put him on the watch list of terrorists. A man who once shared his dream of a world of Democracy and respect for human rights, a world freed from the horrors of poverty, hunger, deprivation and ignorance.