Second Lib Dem candidate reveals he is HIV positive

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A second Prospective Parliamentary Candidate has revealed that his is HIV positive – and has condemned Nigel Farage’s comments about the virus.

The Liberal Democrat  PPC for Vauxhall, Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett, spoke candidly last week about contracting HIV while suicidal.

He has been followed this week by another Lib Dem, the prospective MP for Liverpool Riverside Paul Childs – who has revealed he is also HIV positive.

Mr Childs told Buzzfeed that he was diagnosed following a routine test in 2011, after embarking on a relationship with a new partner.

He said he had already been considering speaking out about his status – but was convinced after Mr Trett did so, and after UKIP leader Nigel Farage targeted migrants with HIV during last week’s election debate.

Mr Childs said: “We need more people speaking out. It’s got to become a normal thing for people to say they’re HIV positive. At the moment there’s a lot of stigma.

“It needs people in the public eye to speak out about it. So I hope to encourage even one person to be more open after hearing my story.”

Of Farage’s comments, he said: “This is Farage’s default position, blame the immigrants… but 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 (…) it’s just scaremongering – scaremongering to get votes. It’s playing on people’s ignorance and fear.”

He also raised the point that treating migrants with HIV reduces the likelihood of HIV transmission – and actually saves money in the long-term.

He said: “It’s more cost effective to treat someone who’s HIV positive than to allow the virus to be passed on.

“Farage is bringing two things together – there’s an immigration issue, but whether we treat [HIV positive] people is a separate issue.”

Childs, who takes anti-retroviral medication and suffers minor side-effects, says he hopes for a time in which he will be able to discuss his diagnosis without stigma, like any other health problem.

He said: “I have asthma. I can walk down the street and say ‘my asthma’s playing up today’, but I can’t say ‘I’m having side effects from my HIV pills’.

“I should be able to talk about HIV just as I do about asthma. Why should they be any different?”