Open about HIV?

MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle reveals in Commons he is HIV positive

Independent

The countries with travel restrictions in place for HIV positive tourists

Now in its 30th year, World Aids Day aims to promote awareness and combat discrimination surrounding the disease.

While huge strides have been made in treating HIV since it reached epidemic proportions in the early 1980s, attitudes to the condition vary around the globe.

Here is a guide to the countries that currently restrict travel for those suffering from HIV.

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Disclosing You Are HIV positive

Whether you’ve just found out you are HIV positive or you’ve known for a while, at some point you will likely have to decide whether to disclose your HIV status. Choosing who to tell is a personal decision, and you may often find yourself trying to balance honesty with protecting your right to privacy.

As with many issues surrounding HIV, no answers are right for everyone, but here are some general disclosure tips:

  • Be selective. In most instances, choosing who to tell is your personal decision. It’s your choice and your right (Note: Some states have laws requiring you to disclose your status before sexual encounters, before sharing injection drugs or equipment or before receiving medical care.)

  • Consider the 5 W’s. Who do you need to tell? What do you want to tell them about your HIV infection, and what are you expecting from the people you are disclosing your HIV status to? When should you tell them? Where is the best place to have this conversation? Why are you telling them?

  • Easy does it. In most situations, you can take your time to consider who to tell and how to tell them. Consider whether there is a real purpose for disclosing or whether you are simply feeling anxious and want to share your feelings. Telling people indiscriminately may affect your life in ways you haven’t considered.

  • No need to apologize. You have a virus. You don’t have anything to apologize for simply because you are HIV positive.

  • Keep it simple. Just stick to the facts. You don’t have to tell the story of your life.

  • Avoid isolating yourself. If you are unable to tell close friends, family members or other loved ones about your HIV status, allow yourself to draw upon the support and experience of others in the HIV community. Consider joining a support group or an online discussion, such as the POZ Forums.

  • Go with your gut. There’s no perfect road map for how to disclose. Trust your instinct, not your fears.

  • Relax. Millions of others have dealt with this experience and have found their way through it. You will get through it too.

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BBC

MP tells Commons he is HIV positive

An MP has revealed he is HIV positive during a House of Commons debate on public health.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown, is the first MP to reveal his HIV status in the Commons and the second to disclose he is living with the condition.

He said he felt compelled to speak out about an issue which had affected him personally.

Mr Russell-Moyle urged ministers to review cuts to sexual health budgets.

In 2005, Labour MP Chris Smith revealed to a newspaper he had been HIV positive for 17 years.

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