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Overcoming prejudices

The Home for AIDS patients was established precisely on 5 December 1988, in Rome’s Parioli neighbourhood, inside Villa Glori Park. It was the first of its kind in Italy and it caused an uproar of demonstrations “opposed” to it, with very heated debates in city assemblies and complaints to the Lazio Regional Administrative Court.

At a time when there were no well-defined treatments, sick people were marginalised as they were considered to be contaminated, and the impact of AIDS generated great fear and anguish. The first young men also came from outside Rome (Roberto from Cardarelli Hospital in Naples, Ciro from Apulia), or from the streets, or from hospitals in Rome where they had been inpatients for several months — one of them even for one year — because they had no one to pick them up when they were discharged.

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