28 November 2022

CNWL's Dr Laura Waters writes:

"It is with utter sadness that we share the news that Chris Sandford, who was a patient representative in the Bloomsbury Clinic for many years, has died. Chris was a force of nature, a phenomenal advocate, and an inspiration to all – to clinicians, to politicians, to people living with HIV and to anyone who encountered this incredible human.

Chris sandford.jpgChris had been living with HIV for over 40 years, receiving his diagnosis while nursing his own partner, Robert Grace, who died of HIV-related illness. Chris beat many odds in the following decades, including undergoing a kidney transplant, but weathered every challenge with humour, positivity, and a passion for ensuring others could learn from his experience.

In recent years Chris was delivering university teaching, was an active member of the Bloomsbury Network, was a valued CNWL governor and was Education Director of the National HIV Story Trust. He contributed to the recent Fifty over 50 campaign, a collection of individuals’ reflections on growing older with HIV. Chris spoke at the parliamentary launch with characteristic and eloquent passion, holding Government and society to account to ensure nobody is left behind as the UK moves towards zero HIV transmissions.

Chris often talked of ‘turning points’ and the opportunity for an HIV diagnosis to yield positive life changes. He exemplified that by turning his own diagnosis, and his own losses, into 4 decades of leadership in the field of peer engagement and support, and that is a legacy to be proud of indeed."