A Liberal Democrat candidate has taken the brave step of admitting he contracted HIV on purpose.
Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett, 36, said he suffered suicidal feelings as a result of homophobic bullying.
Standing for Vauxhall, he decided to speak out about that bullying, mental health and low self-esteem in the hope of helping others.
He told BuzzFeed that he spiralled into a cycle of drugs, depression and suicide attempts, before finally deciding that being infected with HIV might be ‘one way’ to die.
Mr Hyyrylainen-Trett, who is originally from Norwich and is thought to be the first parliamentary candidate to openly speak about being HIV-positive, told the website: ‘I thought, “What’s another way of doing it?”
‘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”.’
But he added: ‘I didn’t really want HIV … I wanted annihilation of me.’
The LGBT activist said he feels he owes it to people in similar situations to speak about the issues.
He has called for drugs to become ‘a health issue not a criminal one’, and said the mental health and wellbeing of gay people must be addressed.
Mr Hyyrylainen-Trett, who married his partner last weekend, also said same-sex education should be compulsory in all schools from a young age.