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David Omar Lambourne, known to his friends as O, came from a Muslim family but he embraced a diversity of faith as an adult, especially Judaism, and he ran a Jewish delicatessen in West Hove for many years. O was an entrepreneur and a dynamic person - a bon viveur who loved to entertain. He was also very interested in food, whether eating, cooking, or running his deli, and one of the best cooks helping out at the Our House Body Positive Sunday lunches. I knew him from the mid 1980’s before either of us became HIV positive, but I lost track of him for a couple of years until we met at an early OHBP meeting. Both he and his partner Stephen had changed their family names, and O changed his first name too. They’d both hated being last on the school register in class – O’s original family name began with Z and Stephen’s with a W. They choose the letters L and C for their new names, so they’d come further up in lists! It was also their way of being reborn, or re launching themselves following their HIV diagnosis. O was a warm and energetic ‘people’ person with great social and communication skills. He was also a Freemason and in the early 1990’s when he was no longer able to work, the Lodge provided him with some financial support. By being openly gay, open about his HIV status and having a Masonic and Muslim background, he certainly tried to break the mould.
O had been on many drug trials, but when combination therapy arrived, he didn’t believe it would work and didn’t want to try it - he’d tried enough already. This scepticism was widespread among people living with HIV at that time. Why would this approach work when everything else had failed? The drugs used as monotherapy before combination drugs also had some serious side effects. O died the same summer that combination therapy came into general use.