A BRITISH sports star is set to publicly announce they are HIV positive.
The international intends to break the news on social media to fight the stigma of living with the virus, which can cause AIDS.
The brave personality — worshipped by millions of fans — is timing the announcement just before a sports event next month in which they are competing.
The aim is to show you can live a healthy lifestyle with HIV, which can be treated with anti-retroviral therapy.
A source said: “The star has given this a lot of thought and plans to make the announcement on Twitter. It will cause a sensation but they are prepared for that.
“It is courageous, given attitudes in sport aren’t always the most enlightened. But it will prompt an outpouring of support and praise.”
The sports star will follow in the footsteps of US basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson, 59, who announced he was HIV positive in 1991. He takes a daily cocktail of drugs to prevent his HIV progressing to AIDS.
British figure skater John Curry, who won gold at the 1976 Winter Olympics, announced he was HIV positive in 1987. He died of an AIDS-related heart attack aged 44 in 1994.
HIV — Human immunodeficiency virus — is spread through sexual contact and blood. There are an estimated 101,600 people in the UK with HIV.
What is HIV?
HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system, and weakens your ability to fight infections and disease.
AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection, when your body can no longer fight life-threatening infections.
With treatment, most people with HIV do not ever develop AIDS.
Most infected people experience a short illness, similar to flu, two to six weeks after coming into contact with HIV.
Symptoms can include:
- Sore throat
- Body rash
- Joint and/or muscle pain
- Swollen glands