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British MP becomes first to reveal to parliament that he has HIV

06 December 2018

Deputy President David Mabuza has told the official World Aids Day commemoration that the voice of young people has been missing from the important conversation around HIV and Aids for far too long.

Strengthening the gains chalked in the fight against HIV and AIDS as well as achieving the 90, 90, 90 target depends on stopping the stigmatization of infected persons, says Ms Dzid Enyonam Kwame, the Media Specialist for the U.S President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

"People talk about the abolition of polio as a disease - we could do something as miraculous as that for HIV, we really could but we could only do it if we put those resources in". "The government must now act to prevent this from happening again".

"One of the great successes of Australia's community-led HIV response has been the mobilisation of those most affected, to mount highly effective treatment and prevention programs", said Professor Carla Treloar, Director of the Centre for Social Research in Health.

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

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

In what was described as his "Diana moment", the Brighton Kemptown MP said: "Next year I'll be marking an anniversary of my own: 10 years since I became HIV positive".

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

Mr Russell-Moyle received a standing ovation from his colleagues as he concluded the speech.

Knowing your HIV status also enables people to make informed decisions about HIV prevention options, including services to prevent children from becoming infected with HIV, male and female condoms, harm reduction services for people who inject drugs, voluntary medical male circumcision and pre-exposure and post-exposure prophylaxis.

In an interview with the Press Association, Mr Russell-Moyle discussed ending HIV transmissions.

"My job as an MP is to speak out about personal experiences and linking those with political experience". The method works like this: when one tests HIV positive, his/her family members and sexual partners are reached out to with HIV testing services.

He stood down from the Commons at that year's general election.

British MP becomes first to reveal to parliament that he has HIV