Marking 15 years of US - Caribbean partnership to tackle HIV / AIDS

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Saturday South Africa and the world will mark World AIDS Day.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle said that he received the diagnosis ten years ago and that it had hit him "like a wall".

The Brighton Kemptown MP revealed his medical status on Thursday in a bid to break the stigma surrounding HIV and Aids. Next year I will be marking an anniversary of my own - 10 years since I became HIV positive. It has been a long journey from the fear of acceptance and today hopefully advocacy, knowing that my treatment keeps me healthy and protects any partner I may have...status does not define them.

Mr Russell-Moyle described how HIV is "still deeply misunderstood" and "etched into much of the public's memory as a death sentence".

He added: "Those who have HIV or who have recently been diagnosed should know that they are free to pursue every aspect of public life without hindrance".

Ms Patel also said that the health ministry is focusing more on eliminating mother to child transmission of HIV by 2020. "In order to achieve this, we must address the barriers, such as stigma and discrimination, that prevent key populations from accessing testing and treatment services and fully exercising their right to health". "This World Aids Day I will be proud to wear the red ribbon in solidarity and respect".

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"It is so important for people living with HIV to be better represented across public and political spheres, and as a serving MP to be openly living with the virus, Lloyd is already impacting positive change".

"My name. might appear in tomorrow's newspapers as a result of course of being the first MP to declare themselves HIV positive in this chamber", he said.

Mr Russell-Moyle is the second MP to ever announce he has HIV as a member of parliament, but the first to make the revelation while speaking in the Commons.

This monumental feat has aligned with this year's World AIDS Day. "You walk out feeling totally numb, with a million things going through your mind, and at the same time a sense of absolute nothingness".

HIV testing provides people with a unique opportunity to discover their HIV status and enables those diagnosed with the virus to rapidly initiate lifesaving treatment.

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