British lawmaker reveals to parliament he is HIV positive


"Next year I will be marking an anniversary of my own, 10 years since I became HIV positive", said Russell-Moyle, who represents the opposition Labour party for Brighton Kemptown on the English south coast.

Russell-Moyle, formerly a Brighton councillor, said: "The disease is still deeply misunderstood".

"The reality is that today, the prognosis is wildly different to what it was when it was bought to the public's attention".

A visibly emotional Mr Russell-Moyle told the Commons: "This Saturday 1st December will mark the 30th anniversary of world AIDS day, and next year it will be ten years since I became HIV positive".

He said: "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".

The reduction has been attributed to the success in HIV prevention efforts among men with have sex with men, with PHE citing increased condom use, frequent HIV testing, and the use of HIV-prevention drugs (PrEP).

He said: "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".

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The life-saving HIV prevention drug PrEP is now being trialled by NHS England.

"I hope that my coming out serves to defy the stigma around the disease". I hope that more people will understand that effective treatment keeps people who are HIV positive healthy, and it protects their partners.

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

He added: "Those who have HIV or who have recently been diagnosed should know that they are free to pursue every aspect of public life without hindrance".

Mr Russell-Moyle was afforded a rare round of applause in the Commons following his speech, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn praised his "bravery".

"Thanks to activists and campaigners, from Act Up to parliamentarians like Lloyd and Chris Smith, stigma against people with HIV is gradually lessening".

Chris Smith, a former Labour government minister who was the first openly gay British lawmaker, disclosed he was HIV positive in 2005.