A Liberal Democrat has become the first parliamentary candidate to reveal that he is HIV Positive in an interview with Buzzfeed.
Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett, 36, revealed that he is HIV Positive in an interview in which he revealed his extensive drug use, suicidal tendencies, and unprotected sex.
Hyyrylainen-Trett is the second politician to speak of being HIV Positive; Labour’s Chris Smith opened up about being HIV Positive in 2005 when he left the House of Commons for the Lords.
“I didn’t really want HIV,” he said, “I wanted annihilation of me.”
The candidate revealed his battle with depression, two suicide attempts, five drug overdoses and physical bullying.
He explained that he became HIV positive “as a consequence of all these things – bullying, mental ill-health, low self-esteem… All those things could have been prevented.”
“I thought, What’s another way of doing it[suicide]? Even though I knew people were surviving from HIV, I thought, ‘Perhaps if I can make myself so ill, get the worst strain possible, that would be one way of getting rid of myself.’”
Hyyrylainen-Trett was asked how – as the candidate for Vauxhall – he could help change the stigma surrounding HIV and the new cases which pervade every year.
“We need much more education in schools and the workplace around HIV, to reduce stigma, but more than that: There used to be television campaigns about it, but there hasn’t been anything in recent years. Young people are often completely unaware because of a lack of education.”
“It requires politicians first of all to even talk about it. I don’t see anyone willing and open to talk about what we’ve been discussing.”
He also supports the decriminalisation of drugs. “It all links together – making drugs a health issue, not a criminal one so that people might talk about it and get help for it.”
A Lib Dem party spokesman told PinkNews: “This is a very brave step from Adrian. He has a lot of support in our party and we wish him all the best. He speaks on behalf of many people who will hopefully look to him as someone who has come through difficult times, and is now dedicating himself to helping others and standing up for his community.”
Mr Hyyrylainen-Trett married his partner last Saturday, on the one-year anniversary of same-sex marriage becoming law in England and Wales.
© 2015 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.