A Weymouth resident has been awarded an MBE in the Kings’ Birthday Honours for his services to HIV and AIDS care.

Dr Patrick Dixon is the founder, volunteer and ambassador to ACET UK, a charity delivering relationship and sex education training, lesson delivery and support of HIV and AIDS care.

He was among the recipients of the honours which have been announced on Friday night.

Speaking of the recognition, Dr Dixon said: “It’s surreal but amazing, I was completely shocked and I was sure (the email I received) was spam.

“We missed the letter as we were circumnavigating the world by boat, and received an urgent email saying I missed a letter and must respond.

“I read it and read it again and I thought, oh my goodness. I’m delighted to find out and so privileged.”

Dr Dixon founded ACET in 1988, as a compassionate response to the HIV pandemic.

He said: “In my first career I trained as a physician and I was a hospice doctor.

“There were so many people suddenly dying in homes across London, and I was finding my own medical practice overwhelmed.

“We didn’t understand what was going on as there had a 100 per cent lethal and death rate.

“No one knew how to cope with it and as a doctor specialising in cancer patients I was called in for advice. That disease was HIV.

“This was in 1987, and even today, the shocking thing is that there is no vaccine.

“At the time people were worried that it would spread through the air."

Dr Dixon wrote the book, The Truth About AIDS, and launched a care programme off the back of that. This was the AIDS education and training charity, which has locations now across the world including Uganda, Romania, Thailand, Zimbabwe, South Africa, India, Russia and Ukraine.

Dr Dixon in India last October with ACET members (Image: Dr Patrick Dixon) Now, more than seven million people have taken part in the programmes. He has since written more than 30 books. 

Dr Dixon added: “For me, I am a tiny part of a big story. The real heroes are those around the world doing the care work. So many men and women are doing amazing things, and its such a privilege to work with them.”

He has lived in Weymouth for the past six years with his wife of 45 years Sheila.

Dr Dixon said: “We moved because we love sailing and we were so excited to be near the Olympic sailing school.

“Weymouth is an amazing place and we love being a part of the community here.”

David Corben, 73, of Swanage, is also awarded an MBE for services to the RNLI. Mr Corben is the chair of the Lifeboat Management Group, Swanage Lifeboat Station.

He joined the crew at Swanage at the age of 20 having served as a volunteer with the Coastguard for a few years.

During 53 years of voluntary service to the RNLI, he has carried out numerous roles such as 35 years as an operational crew (18 of which were as emergency mechanic), 14 years as a launch authority, and more recently, he provided inspirational leadership as the chair of the Lifeboat Management Group, responsible for overseeing all aspects of station life.

Mr Corben said: "I was very humbled, but also very honoured that the RNLI should think I'm worthy of such recognition because I'm just a small cog in the big wheel."

Mr Corben was also the founder of the Swanage Community Defibrillator Partnership, an initiative that has grown and has now funded and installed nearly 40 defibrillators across Purbeck which has helped save countless lives.

Meanwhile, Anthony Baverstock, from Gillingham, is recognised with a MBE for his services to young people in Dorset.