Our name

NAM was founded by Peter Scott in 1987. Peter was working at the heart of the community affected by HIV – at the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard. At that time there was extensive misinformation about HIV and AIDS, much of it confused and homophobic.

Peter and a group of committed volunteers set about creating a source of calm, authoritative and trustworthy information on which those living with HIV in the UK could rely. Thus, the National AIDS Manual was born. We were one of the first organisations to produce accurate information on HIV and we quickly became the UK’s primary source of HIV information.

Since then, NAM’s users have grown and diversified within the UK and worldwide, so we are constantly revising, rewriting and adapting our information to take account of new needs and developments. We currently publish a wide range of print, online and other digital materials for all communities affected by HIV and those working to support them.

Peter Scott's vision has been central to the development of NAM.

What does NAM stand for?

The initials NAM originally stood for National AIDS Manual.

As these pictures show, when the charity was founded in 1987, the 'Manual' was a huge ring binder containing the available information on HIV and AIDS. Produced at a time when there was lots of hysteria and little reliable information, it was an important, evidence-based, reference point for professionals as well as people diagnosed with HIV and AIDS.

NAM's resources have developed and evolved over the years to reflect the changing epidemic, developments in treatment and care and the changing information needs of people living with and working in HIV all over the world. We now have a huge range of resources pitched at different levels, online and in print, in different languages for different people.

As NAM now produces much more than just the ‘Manual’, we have become known simply as NAM.

Although those weighty ringbinders are now tucked away in the NAM archive, the Manuals are an important part of our charity's history. The 'essence' of this approach to delivering HIV and AIDS information is reflected through our day-to-day work, providing calm, reliable, authoritative, independent information to anyone who needs it.