Paul Childs, a Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate in next month's General Election, has revealed that he is HIV positive.
Talking to BuzzFeed, the 34-year-old said that he was inspired to talk openly about living with the virus after Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett revealed he was HIV positive - and by Ukip leader Nigel Farage's inflammatory remarks about NHS money being used up on immigrants with the virus.
Hyyrylainen-Trett, Liberal Democrat candidate for Vauxhall, told at the end of March how he had struggled with accepting that he was gay. He believes he embarked on self-destructive behavior and made himself ill on purpose.
Childs told BuzzFeed: "I thought: 'Well, my story isn’t half as bad as Adrian’s so if he can talk about it then I must be able to.'"
Since disclosing details of his life with HIV, Childs has been sent messages of support on Twitter.
Nigel Farage's deeply controversial remarks on HIV were made during the Leaders' Debate. He said: “You can come into Britain, from anywhere in the world, get diagnosed with HIV and get the retroviral drugs which cost up to £25,000 per year, per patient. We need to put the National Health Service there for British people and families.”
Childs described putting the blame on immigrants as Farage's "default position" and added: "You can’t keep blaming a country’s problems on immigration. HIV is a drop in the ocean compared to what else the NHS is spending money on".
The Lib Dem argued that the focus should be on making sure people are looked after and that the virus is contained. Childs hopes that by being candid about his illness, a national debate will be sparked that will ultimately benefit sufferers.
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