HIV Ireland to receive €25,000 from Sunday Times following “grossly inaccurate” article

The newspaper will donate €25,000 to HIV Ireland as an apology to the family of Angelo Andreucetti, after inaccurately reporting on his death.

Activist of HIV Ireland, which will receive a donation from the Sunday Times, marching in a protest carrying a banner with their logo and the word
Image: Via Twitter - @HIVIreland

HIV Ireland will receive a €25,000 donation from the Sunday Times after it inaccurately reported about the death of Angelo Andreucetti, who passed away due to AIDS-related illness in 1994. The charity was nominated by the man’s family as the recipient of the donation from the newspaper, which has since apologised for the “grossly inaccurate” article.

The article in question was published by journalist Neil Francis on January 8, 2023. It incorrectly stated that Angelo Andreucetti died in a heroin squat in London in the 1980s and that he was “destitute and friendless”. It also reported that the man’s body had been brought back to Dublin for burial, a detail that was also inaccurate.

After being contacted by the Andreucetti family, the publication issued an apology on January 15, clarifying: “We have since learnt that he was not a heroin addict, that he died from an Aids-related illness, and not heroin addiction, in a Middlesex hospital in August 1994, aged 32, with family and friends by his bedside”. The statement also delineated that Andreucetti’s body had been buried in London.

Following the printed apology, the Sunday Times agreed to make a donation of €25,000 to a charity of the family’s choosing, ultimately HIV Ireland. Welcoming this decision, the organisation’s Executive Director Stephen O’Hare said: “This is an extraordinary gesture by the Andreucetti family following what must have been a very hurtful and distressing experience.”

In reference to the article, O’Hare commented that not only were the claims false, but “they perpetuate, by their very nature, the sort of stigma and shame that has dogged experiences of both HIV and addiction for decades.”

O’Hare added, “It is therefore fitting that we mark today 1st March, known internationally as Zero Discrimination Day, by welcoming this profound gesture which arose from such a stigmatising and discriminatory attitude.”

O’Hare explained that the donated money will be used to support the National Peer Support Network for people living with HIV, which was recently established in Ireland with the aim of providing individual support at a local level to people who have received a recent diagnosis.

“We are beyond grateful to Mr Andreucetti’s family and pledge to honour Angelo’s legacy by continuing to provide support, combat stigma and foster inclusion in partnership with the community of people living with HIV in Ireland”, O’Hare concluded.

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