British MP tells Commons he's HIV positive

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, a Labour-Coop MP for Brighton, spoke out about the virus to raise awareness of World Aids Day.

He made the announcement to mark World Aids Day on December 1, he said.

Mr Russell-Moyle described how HIV is "still deeply misunderstood" and "etched into much of the public's memory as a death sentence".

"The reality is that today, the prognosis is wildly different to what it was when it was bought to the public's attention". Since then I have been on world-class treatment provided by the NHS - so I have not only survived, I've prospered, and any partner I have is safe and protected.

Next year it will be ten years since I became HIV positive. We could be more vocal, more ambitious, more determined to eradicate the disease in the UK. "Or, we could go in the direction of the government, which is putting our hard-fought progress at risk".

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"Their reluctance to make the HIV prevention drug PrEP available on the NHS is disgraceful". We now know of cases of young men who have tried to gain access to PrEP, who have been turned away and who have subsequently contracted HIV. "The government must now act to prevent this from happening again".

Lloyd Russell-Moyle revealed he was diagnosed with HIV 10 years ago.

"I hope that my coming out serves to defy the stigma around the disease".

He told the Commons "I am an HIV-positive man", but as he had been taking medication for many years he was "undetectable" and can't pass it on.

"[I hope] that my story might encourage others to get tested and ultimately begin their treatment earlier on".

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"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", Mr Corbyn added in a statement. I know the whole Labour Party is proud of him.

Ian Green, chief executive officer of the charity the Terrence Higgins Trust CEO, thanked Russell-Moyle for speaking out.

Russell-Moyle is the second British Member of Parliament (MP) to have been diagnosed with HIV.

Jeremy Corbyn stepped in to praise his Labour colleague, saying: "I think he's making an absolutely brilliant and historic speech and I'm very grateful that he mentioned my good friend Chris Smith who very bravely told the world in 1984 that he was gay and proud of it, and we're proud of Chris for doing that".

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