A Liberal Democrat has become Britain’s first HIV-positive parliamentary candidate after telling how he "deliberately" contracted the virus after years of homophobic bullying.
Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett, 36, suffered physical and psychological bullying at school for being gay.
In an interview with Buzzfeed's LGBT editor Patrick Strudwick, the Lib Dem candidate for Vauxhall in south London explained why he chose to speak out.
Hyyrylainen-Trett said he believed he "owed it" to the community to discuss the issues he went through and help others who were experiencing the same problems.
"With psychological bullying all you have is the words whirling around your head – comments thrown at you in the sports room, in the gym, walking home from school."
Hyyrylainen-Trett said bullying led him to into a spiral of drugs, depression and suicidal thoughts, before he decided that HIV might be "one way" to take his own life.
"I didn’t really want HIV," he said. "I wanted annihilation of me."
His diagnosis in 2004 was cited as a "consequence of bullying, mental ill health and low self-esteem".
Hyyrlyainen-Trett has since called for more education in schools and the workplace about HIV to reduce stigma of the virus and raise awareness in young people, many of whom he says are "completely unaware".
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