A man who kept his HIV diagnosis a secret for 10 years was commended for opening up after seeing it was a sin

A man who kept his HIV diagnosis a secret for 10 years was commended for opening up after seeing it was a sin

The Channel 4 series follows a group of friends who moved to London in 1981 and whose lives are turned upside down by the outbreak of the AIDS crisis.

Luke Kelly, 30, saw it and was inspired to reveal his HIV status on Instagram.

David Furnish, chairman of the Elton John Aids Foundation, described him as a “hero” on BBC News Monday.

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“My story helped inspire the hit TV show It’s A Sin.”

“When I was 25, I had lost 50 friends to AIDS.”

“The conversation about living with HIV must be conducted”

Mr Kelly, whose original Instagram live video talking to his friend has been viewed more than 47,000 times since it was released on Feb.20, was first diagnosed in 2011 when he was 21 years old.

He told BBC Victoria Derbyshire on Monday that he thought he was going to die when he found out and how embarrassed he was to contract a virus that is now considered “very manageable”.

“I was actually thinking about how can my parents watch me die?” Said Mr. Kelly. “And that’s a pretty traumatic experience to have at 21, and that could have been avoided if there had been a bit more education.”

Media captionIt’s a sin: Olly Alexander says young gay people sent him a message saying they couldn’t believe it happened

“So Much Shame”

Watching It’s A Sin, which starred Olly Alexander and Lydia West, brought those emotions back into focus, but in a new context, he said.

“It came up to me so much that I resonated and I thought I was okay with my status because it was 10 years ago,” added Kelly. “But I realized I was hiding – it was a secret.

“There is so much shame about HIV, and there is so much negativity, and it somehow stems from the fear that was built up in the 1980s because no drugs were available,” he continued.

“The government had to make this fear public – it’s a bit like coronavirus, people are scared. And I understand why it happened [but] The government and the media never really wrote a follow-up story, so people don’t know what it’s like to live with HIV today – it’s completely different now. “

Despite advances in medicine, he said, some attitudes about the virus – and about gay people in general – remain stuck in the past.

“I couldn’t even tell my parents back then because it was just something I was so ashamed of. [there was] so much stigma attached to it.

“The shame really comes from the homophobia that still exists today.”

“Put an end to HIV”

While speaking to the BBC news channel, David Furnish, who is married to Sir Elton John, surprised Mr Kelly with a message of support and thanks for his help in tackling the stigma surrounding the virus.

“Luke, I’ll take my hat off – you’re a hero,” said Furnish.

“The Instagram chat you have with your friends is such an inspiration to so many people

Media caption Healed of HIV: I want to end stigma and discrimination

“You are the toughest, happiest, and most vivid example of what it is like to live with HIV today. And you are incredibly knowledgeable about how the virus is transmitted and prevented, and how well the drugs work. “

He added, “If more people did what you did … we could put an end to HIV.”

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