For Immediate Release / 25.05.22 –  Pride Special – ‘Never Silent – ACT UP and My Life in Activism’ Peter Staley 


Health Care activist Peter Staley will be launching his highly-acclaimed memoir ‘Never Silent: ACT UP and My Life in Activism’ this June in London for a special Pride programme welcomed by a coalition of human rights and healthcare movements in the 50th year of Pride and 40th year of HIV in the UK.  

“Things have changed so much for HIV since the 80’s. We’re now in a state of frustrated optimism. We have the tools to dramatically wind down the HIV epidemic and the only thing standing in the way of that are our governments, both in the UK and the US. We just have to push the right political buttons.” – Peter Staley

Peter’s work at the beginning of the HIV pandemic in the U.S. has paved the way for where we are today with HIV treatment and care. He will be in London to discuss his book ‘Never Silent: ACT UP and My Life in Activism’ famously chronicled in the Oscar nominated documentary ‘How To Survive A Plague’ where they shut down the Food and Drug Administration for a day to get HIV treatment on the political agenda. Staley, a shrewd strategist with nerves of steel, organized some of the group’s most spectacular actions, from shutting down trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to putting a giant condom over the house of Senator Jesse Helms. 

“Taking governments to court for collusion in pharmaceutical greed, invading and shutting down stock exchanges to stop ‘business as usual’ and putting giant condoms over bigots’ houses are all brilliant tools in the activist kit that Peter Staley’s legacy leaves. In this political climate, in the face of the privation of the NHS and the Governments ‘hostile environment’ strategy which leaves HIV+ migrants more vulnerable than ever, I can’t wait to learn from Peter once again.” Dan Glass, ACT UP London

“It’s no exaggeration to say Peter’s fierce quest for justice for people living with and at risk of HIV has saved countless lives. People living with HIV continue to benefit from his formidable, tireless and creative activism, starting with the early HIV movement he helped to spearhead and which he pushes forward to this day. We’re delighted to have Peter here to spark conversations and share ideas on how we can reach our shared vision of ending HIV transmissions and improve the lives of people living with HIV.” Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of National AIDS Trust

Never Silent is the inside story of what brought Staley to ACT UP and the explosive and sometimes painful years to follow: years filled with triumph, humiliation, joy, loss, and persistence. Never Silent is guaranteed to inspire the activist within all of us.

The upcoming London ‘Never Silent’ programme will explore Peter’s extraordinary life as one of the most famous HIV activists in the world, starting out as a Wall Street Banker before becoming a full-time HIV activist and how to continue the journey for Pre-exposure-phrolapxyis (PREP) and HIV / AIDS treatment for all and including how Gen Z and millennials have changed the face of HIV activism. 

Peter is currently leading a court case in the US, Staley vs Gilead, taking on big pharma to drop their HIV medication monopoly which could be a big catalyst for innovation in HIV treatment which shall be explored throughout the programme. 

The launch event is Saturday 18th June 6.30-8pm London’s premier LGBTQIA+ Arts space QueerCircle followed by a book signing the following night on Sunday 19th June at Housmans Bookshop (1) 


“It is so exciting to have Peter Staley in the UK with us again, whose activism with unrelenting determination has driven change globally over decades and has been a huge source of inspiration for me and many others.  He has taught us never to stay silent and fight for our rights in the face of unrelenting adversity. I cannot wait to read his new book.” Sophia Strachan, Director at Sofia Forum

“The parallels between the early years of Peter Staley’s activism and today—a deadly pandemic and an all-out political assault on LGBTQ rights, all while an often indifferent (and at times hostile) media looked on—make Never Silent essential reading for today’s activists. And they can join him—Staley is still very much in the fight.” Jerome Pohlen, Senior Editor, Chicago Review Press

“A chance to meet one of the leading US HIV activists. Advances that ACT-UP NYC made to faster access to effective HIV meds led to faster access for the rest of the world.” Simon Collins, i-Base co-founder

Notes to Editors

(1) Saturday 18th June: Queer Circle, 0.1 Building B4, 3 Barton Yard,  Soames Walk, Design District,  London,  SE10 0BN. To book for the event see: 

Sunday 19th June: Housmans bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DY – 6.30-8pm – It is free but there are limited spaces. To book for both events see:


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