Ex UK Minister Chris Smith was HIV Positive for 17 years

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Sunday, January 30, 2005 Ex-British Culture Minister Chris Smith has lived with the HIV virus for 17 years, he has revealed to the Sunday Times.

The former cabinet minister decided to go public after the former South African President Nelson Mandela announced his son Makgatho Mandela, had died of AIDS.

'When I first heard about it, I was really worried because there was hardly any treatment,' he told the newspaper.

Mr Smith was quickly put on a course of anti-retrovirals after he was diagonosed. He said that he had "been with the National Health Service all the time".

Chris Smith revealed he was gay in 1984. He was sacked from his post (which he held since 1997) in 2001, after controversies over the National Lottery and the construction of the new Wembley Stadium.

He is due to stand down at the next General Election.

References

  • BBC News: Former minister is HIV-positive. January 29th, 2005.