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WATCH: First gay man diagnosed HIV+ in London is alive and still fighting stigma

This inspiring story is a reminder on World Aids Day of our whole community's resilience

WATCH: First gay man diagnosed HIV+ in London is alive and still fighting stigma
Jonathon Blake is a fouding member of Lesbians and Gays Support The Miners | Photo: Gay Star News

Lesbian and Gays Support the Miners activist Jonathon Blake’s doctors gave him the HIV diagnosis ‘London 1’ 35 years ago.

At that stage in 1982, everyone who received a HIV diagnosis at Middlesex Hospital was given a number. Blake remembers being given the number ‘L1 or London 1’ in October 1982.

Today, he is alive and still taking part in LGBTI rights activism.

Speaking to Gay Star News, he remembers his personal battle with whether to take his life or not after getting his diagnosis.

‘I decided that I just I didn’t want to have to deal with it anymore and I was going to sort of commit suicide.’

Reflecting on that day in December of 1982, he says:

‘But, I thought about how somebody having to come and just find me and to clear up after me. And I just thought – no.’

Blake’s story was taken in by the hearts of so many in the 2014 film Pride.

As part of our World Aids Day coverage, we caught up with the activist – watch the interview now:

He is still fighting against HIV stigma

Last week Blake joined the ‘Bang Bus WAD special’.

It was a protest that took HIV activists like him on a tour of pivotal locations in London in the fight against stigma.

One of the stops was the Middlesex hospital where he, and many others, received their diagnosis in the early stages of understanding the virus.

Overwhelmed at the end of the event he says:

‘The truly amazing afternoon shows the HIV Pandemic is not over. We may have PrEP to add to the arsenal but the NHS is still not fully committed – the fight must continue.’

But, a recent Gay Star News investigation reveals how at least three sexual health clinics recently closed. This was a direct result of government funding cuts.

In a recent look at how HIV transmissions worldwide can get down to zero, GSN’s editor Tris Reid-Smith writes:

‘What everyone agrees on, is that we now have the best set of tools ever with which to stop new HIV infections.

‘However, now society has to take up the fight.’

Read more about World Aids Day on Gay Star News:

This is how we will end the spread of HIV worldwide

This porn actor wants you to stop stigmatizing barebacking

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