Ahead of the World HIV day, 32-year old Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle has revealed that he is HIV positive. He announced this in the House of Commons. The MP from Brighton Kemptown revealed his HIV status as he aims to break the stigma that those that have HIV face.
Russell-Moyle also advocated that the HIV-prevention drug PrEP is made available on the NHS. Russell-Moyle led a debate on HIV, and he said that the disease had grossly been misunderstood. Russell-Moyle noted that a lot of people associate HIV with death and a life that can’t do anything again. He said that people saw HIV as a death sentence.
Russell-Moyle explained that an HIV prognosis today is far different from what it was in the past. Now those that are HIV positive can live a healthy and full life with little or no side-effects thanks to some drugs. Russell-Moyle said that those that are HIV positive could live a good life and fulfill their life dreams without any hindrance.
Russell-Moyle who was the former vice president of the European Youth Forum was diagnosed when he was 22 years old (10 years ago). He said that since the time that he was diagnosed, he had been on the treatment provided by the NHS. He talked about how he has survived and how many of his partners can be safe and protected.
NHS England is currently holding trials for PrEP, the HIV prevention drug. Russell-Moyle said that people need to be more ambitious and vocal about the disease in the United Kingdom instead of being careless like the government.
Russell-Moyle criticized the government for being reluctant to make PrEP available on the NHS. He said that there were cases of people who tried to access PrEP but were turned away and now they contracted HIV. He said that the HIV status of those men could have been avoidable. He called on the government to prevent this from happening. He hoped that PrEP would be made available on the NHS very soon and prevent more people from contracting HIV.
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Leader, praised Russell-Moyle for showing a lot of courage and told him that the whole Labour Party was proud of him. Corbyn told Russell-Moyle that his hope and dignity would serve as a source of inspiration to lots of people all over the country and across the world.
The Chief Executive Officer of Terrence Higgins Trust, Ian Green thanked Russell-Moyle for speaking out about his HIV status. He said that his organization was grateful to Russell-Moyle for using his platform as an MP to work in reducing HIV stigma and transmission in the United Kingdom.
Ian Green said that it was important for those living with HIV to be represented across political and public spheres. He noted that Russell-Moyle is already making positive impacts as an MP living with HIV and showing others that it is possible to live with the virus and still make a lot of effect on people.