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British MP Comes Out — As HIV-Positive

by Kilian Melloy
Friday Nov 30, 2018

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, a member of Britain's Parliament, made a stunning announcement before the legislative body. As a debate about World AIDS Day was taking place in the Commons, the Labour Party MP revealed that he is HIV-positive, the first time such a disclosure has been made on the Commons floor, reported UK newspaper The Guardian.

The article took note of the fact that Russell-Moyle is only the second Member of Parliament to come out as positive.

The MP took to the floor with remarks about the history of World AIDS Day, which has been observed every year since 1988. He then disclosed that "next year I will be marking an anniversary of my own: Ten years since I became HIV positive."

Russell-Moyle continued on to say, "I wanted to be able to stand here in this place and say to those living with HIV that our status doesn't define them," reported the BBC. "That we can be whoever we want to be," he added.

Russell-Moyle encouraged the public to get tested in order to know their status and, if positive, take proactive steps to protect their health and the health of intimate partners.

"It is better to live in knowledge than to die in fear," Russell-Moyle declared.

Wikipedia notes that World AIDS Day is "an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died of the disease. Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations, and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control."

While Britain saw the remarkable sight of a Member of Parliament combatting stigma by publicly coming out as HIV-positive, America's vice present, Mike Pence, also delivered an address on the theme of World AIDS Day — an address in which he didn't so much as mention LGBTQ people, reported British newspaper The Independent.

Pence's comments were decried by multiple media sources, not only for his redaction of LGBTQ victims of the global epidemic, but — as the Huffington Post noted - also for the irony of Pence delivering any address at all on the occasion, given that while governor of Indiana his policies were directly attributed to a dramatic uptick in new HIV cases in the state.

Watch a video of Lloyd Russell-Moyle's courageous remarks in the video below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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