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MARK WARD

the life of a haemosexual

The story of how a boy came to be infected with blood borne viruses, and in spite of multiple death sentences, lived to become the world's first ever LGBTQ+ Ambassador for Haemophilia.

'Faced daily with my own mortality, I chose to live fabulously―each of my fifty-five years has been full of love, laughter, adventure… and feather boas.'

Mark Ward is the founder of Haemosexual―an online support and information resource championing equality, education and better healthcare for everyone with a bleeding disorder, no matter what their sexual orientation. Mark's battle to secure a public enquiry into the Infected Blood Scandal―which is finally due to report in May―has led him to places he never expected, and to meet people he never dreamt of.

This forthright (and fabulous) memoir, recounts the journey of an unlikely lad from Letchworth who grows up to be a renowned and respected rights campaigner. With foreword by Sam Stein KC.

'Mark is a survivor, literally, of the HIV visited upon him through contaminated blood, but rather than merely revelling in the simple fact of life, he has heroically dedicated himself to ensuring life remains possible for others.'

SAM STEIN KC

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MARK WARD is fifty-five years young and lives near Brighton. He was born with severe haemophilia and grew up in Hertfordshire―where he was the first severe haemophiliac to attend a 'normal' school, enabling special needs education to be established. At school and in hospital, he was often given other people's opinions regarding his chosen career in aviation. But this never stopped him from dreaming, and then proving them all wrong: he joined the British Airways Youth Training Scheme at sixteen. He worked within the airline across a variety of departments on the ground and in the air, before his health declined and he medically retired.

Mark then became the 'Door Whore' for G-A-Y at the London Astoria, working with some huge stars and even performing as a drag queen. He’s been an HIV and LGBTQ+ activist for over thirty years and has volunteered for charities including Terence Higgins Trust, the West Midlands Lesbian & Gay Switchboard and Open Door in Brighton. In 2004, he addressed the World Federation of Haemophilia Congress in Bangkok with his
ground-breaking booklet 'You Don’t Have to be Straight to Take Factor 8'; he was then asked to join the newly-established Tainted Blood Committee in 2006, and has since become an experienced campaigner, media representative and core participant in the Infected Blood Inquiry.

In 2013 he created the support network Haemosexual for those with a bleeding disorder who identify as LGBTQ+ to provide sexual health education and tackle stigma. He's been an active member of The Haemophilia Society for more than twenty-five years and in 2019, he became the world’s first ever LGBTQ+ Ambassador for Haemophilia.

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