Labour MP reveals HIV diagnosis in emotional speech

Dr. Johnmark Opondo

Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle tells House of Commons he is HIV positive

The first "90" indicates that at least 90% of the HIV positive population should know their status so that they take treatment and ensure a long, healthy life and stop HIV transmission.

"Of course there are low-level elements of stigma in everyday life, in terms of just lack of knowledge, people reacting with gut reaction", he said.

Programme Manager National AIDS Programme Dr Baseer Khan said the World AIDS Day, 2018 theme of "Know your status" is also a reinforcement of basic human right to enable every individual to seek basic health services and also knowing his status of health.

He is the second MP to ever announce he has HIV as a member of parliament.

The overall level of stigma toward sex workers was 64%. "Many people still only get tested after becoming ill and symptomatic". This year marks the 30th anniversary of doing this.

"As the first MP to disclose their HIV status in the House, Lloyd has taken a big step and we absolutely applaud him".

The charity said that misinformation around HIV still causes stigma, which impacts many people living with HIV. The people who are diagnosed with HIV are encouraged to enroll for treatment at local health centers. It is the essential entry point to HIV treatment, prevention, care and support services.

More than a quarter (27%) had experienced discrimination from friends.

During an adjournment debate on HIV and World AIDS day, the Labour MP said: "Next year I'll be marking an anniversary of my own: ten years since I became HIV positive".

Commenting on the announcement, Deborah Gold, chief executive of National Aids Trust, said: "Although no one is obliged to be open about their status, and it isn't always an easy decision, the same stigma that makes it hard to say you have HIV is a stigma that is gradually eroded by people being open and proud". In the UK, HIV diagnoses are falling meaning the spread of the virus is slowing down. We must focus on prevention and testing.

"The results from our polling are extremely saddening".

Darryl O'Donnell, CEO of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations said: "Advances in medicine, technology and health promotion have powered strong progress against HIV".

"We have made tremendous progress in the global fight against HIV/AIDS".

In an interview with the Press Association, Mr Russell-Moyle said he had chose to speak out "because he had a duty as a Member of Parliament".

"It is one of the scientific miracles or medical miracles that we have achieved in the last 20 years".

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