WATCH: Michael Stipe deliveres moving speech, recalls first HIV test
R.E.M. former frontman Michael Stipe has spoken of his reluctance to get tested for HIV in the 1980s while giving a speech at Logo's Trailblazers awards show to honour LGBT celebrities, politicians and activists who have championed the cause of gay rights.
Stipe was introducing Ugandan activist John Abdallah Wambere who started an initiative providing medical services to gay Ugandans living with HIV and AIDs, when he spoke about his own experiences in the 1980s.
“In the early Eighties, as a 22-year-old queer man living during the Reagan-Bush administration, I was afraid to get tested for HIV for fear of quarantine, the threat of internment camps and having my basic civil rights stripped away," he said.
“I waited five years to get my first anonymous test.
“I am happy that attitudes have matured and changed, and I feel lucky that I live in a country where acceptance, tolerance and policy toward HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ issues have advanced as far as they have.”
Watch the speech here