Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Corbyn praises 'brave' MP for revealing his HIV diagnosis

Chris Smith MP in 2005 now Lord Smith Image Chris Smith was the first MP to reveal his HIV positive status in 2005
Delores Daniels | 06 December, 2018, 15:14

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday in Abuja said the Federal Government would increase the number of people on anti-retroviral treatment as part of commitment to ending the HIV epidemic by 2030.

Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle told the House of Commons he had been living with the virus for almost a decade.

It said that other high risk groups / communities such as men who have sex with (MSM), Female Sex Workers and Hijra Sex Workers (HSWs) appear to have reached the threshold level.

Prevention can be done through practicing monogamy or practicing sex with only one partner especially married spouse, have safer sex and always use protection, get your partners tested for HIV.

"You are our constituency, you are our people and we are here to support you", he said.

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He said when public figures talk about their views or experiences with HIV, it "does a huge amount" to tackle the stigma associated with the virus.

"I'm also very pleased he's brought up the global context of this, the worldwide context where there is appalling levels of prejudice and abuse against HIV-positive people and against the LGBT community in many countries around the world".

Rwanda has launched a six-month awareness and prevention campaign aimed at stemming new HIV infections in the country at a ceremony to mark the World AIDS Day.

Russell-Moyle made a point in explaining how being HIV-undetectable means he is not able to transmit the virus.

"Thus, we must intensify our collective efforts to meet the serious challenges to eliminating the spread of HIV/AIDS among young people in Nigeria and Lagos State, in order to move towards a HIV-free generation by 2020", Dabiri said.

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Away from the Commons chamber, Mr Russell-Moyle explained he had a "duty" as an MP to speak out and could not "keep quiet anymore" about an issue which affects him "so personally".

"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". So that does a lot to normalise HIV in the public's mind.

The UNSW research also shows the persistence of stigma toward people most likely to be exposed to HIV.

"There is some legal discrimination that still exists, for example if you are a pilot you can't get a full pilot's licence to fly a plane in this country. Talking about that is really important".

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