Positive in Prison: HIV stories from a Dublin Jail (Docu drama)

Positive in Prison: HIV stories from a Dublin Jail is a new docu drama podcast based on research by Dr Janet Weston (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine).  Dr Weston organised two launch events for the podcast in London and Dublin in late 2017.


The 1980s HIV/AIDS crisis may be recent history, but the experiences of those who lived through it are rapidly disappearing from the public mind. To reintroduce one specific collection of experiences, from the HIV/AIDS separation unit in Dublin’s largest prison Dr Weston created a podcast with partners Digital Drama based on oral histories and archival research.

Listen to the podcast here, share it, and let us know what you think.

A full live playing of the podcast was accompanied by an expert panel discussion (members listed below) with questions from the audience at the launch events.

  • Tony Duffin, CEO of the Ana Liffey Drug Project
  • Rick Lines, Executive Director of Harm Reduction International, former Executive Director of the Irish Penal Reform Trust
  • Dr. Éamonn O’Moore, National Lead for Health & Justice, Public Health England &
    Director of the UK Collaborating Centre for WHO Health in Prisons (European Region)
  • Dr Catherine Cox, Associate Professor in the School of History, UCD
  • Dr Janet Weston, Research Fellow, LSHTM

The launch events took place at the venues below.

  • 22nd November, London as part of Being Human: A Festival of the Humanities. Location: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT. The event is free however booking is required. Please book here. 
  • 1st December, Dublin to mark World AIDS DayLocation: Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, 6 Kildare Street, Dublin 2. This event is free please register your attendance by e-mailing Dr Janet Weston at: Janet.Weston@lshtm.co.uk

For further reading on the production of the audio drama documentary read the following two blogs by Dr Weston: Launch: Positive in Prison, and HIV/AIDS Crisis in Mountjoy Prison in the 1980s and Janet Weston, ‘Oral Histories, Public Engagement and the Making of Positive in Prison’, History Workshop Journal, 87 (2019) pp. 211-223. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/hwj/dbz009

Read more about the AIDS / HIV crisis in Mountjoy in the 1980’s in a blog by Dr Janet Weston on the Nursing Clio website.