The Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle has used a debate in the Commons to announce he is HIV positive, making a personal speech he said was intended to tackle the stigma still associated with the condition.
The first parliamentarian to make such an announcement in the Commons, and the second MP to announce they are HIV positive, Russell-Moyle said he was diagnosed 10 years ago, when he was 22, and that medical advances meant he could live an entirely unaffected life.
“I wanted to be able to stand here in this place and say to those who are living with HIV that their status does not define them,” Russell-Moyle, the MP for Brighton Kemptown since 2017, said in a speech that drew tributes from many other MPs.
“We can be whoever we want to be, and to those who have not been tested, maybe because of fear, I say to you: it is better to live in knowledge than to die in fear.”
At the end of his speech, MPs in the Commons stood and clapped, even though applause is officially not permitted in the chamber.
The former Labour minister Chris Smith who was the UK’s first openly gay MP when he entered the Commons in 1983, announced he was HIV positive a few months before leaving parliament in 2005. Read more via Guardian