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LABOUR MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle revealed he is HIV positive today to raise awareness of the condition before tomorrow’s 30th anniversary of World Aids Day.
Mr Russell-Moyle, 32, became the first MP to reveal he is HIV positive in the Commons and said he has had the condition since the age of 22.
The MP for Brighton Kemptown intends to use the speech to raise awareness of World Aids Day tomorrow.
He told a public health debate: “Next year, I will be marking an anniversary of my own, 10 years since I have become HIV positive.
“It’s been a long journey, from fear to acceptance, and today, hopefully, advocacy, knowing my treatment keeps me healthy and that it protects any partner I may have.”
He said that, due to NHS treatment, he is unable to pass the disease on to other sexual partners, but he criticised the lack of change in the narrative surrounding this.
Mr Russell-Moyle said: “I finally wanted to be able to stand in this place and tell all those out there living with HIV that their status does not define them.
“We can be whatever we want to be and, to those who have not been tested, out of fear, it is better to live in knowledge than to die in fear.
“I hope that my coming out serves to defy the stigma around the disease.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “Lloyd has shown enormous courage today. I know the whole Labour Party is proud of him.
“His dignity and hope will inspire people across the country and around the world — those with HIV, and also those of us who will always stand together with them.
“But we must remain vigilant against prejudice and we must fight for everyone to have access to effective treatment.
“Lloyd’s bravery represents the very best of Labour. This World Aids Day I will be proud to wear the red ribbon in solidarity and respect.”
Mr Russell-Moyle is the second MP to announce he was HIV positive after former Labour minister Chris Smith wrote of his illness in a newspaper article in 2005.
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