STIPE: UP AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT

R.E.M singer reveals the reason he didn't deny suffering from AIDS for so long...

Michael Stipe has spoken out about his anger at the treatment of AIDS sufferers in the 80s in a new documentary, Hollywood AIDS.

In the programme broadcast as part of the Live At The Lighthouse Appeal which ties into today’s World AIDS Day he slammed the inertia of the US Republican administration in the 80s.

He appears agitated and emotional as he says: “We had a government that was in no way willing or ready to respond to what seemed to anyone who was queer or gay – or anyone who knew anyone who was queer or gay – a very real very frightening thing.”

He also tackled the rampant rumours concerning his possible ill health in the early nineties: “Rumours went around that I was sick with HIV – I wasn’t and I’m not but I really didn’t want to it answer it.

“To go public and deny I had AIDS would denegrate those who are suffering from HIV and AIDS. I didn’t want to be like that (he makes pushing away motion). I didn’t want to dignify the rumour. When I did speak I think a lot of people were relieved, I didn’t realise there was actual concern for me.”

The Live At The Lighthouse show, presented by Stephen Fry, also featured Noel Gallagher in his first comedy role being interviewed by Steve Coogan‘s creation, Alan Partridge.