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Chris said he went to the Mortimer Market clinic after finding out he was positive, and ‘cannot thank them enough’ for the support an education they gave him.

‘At a time when my father was terminally ill and having lost two friends to suicide, having a HIV diagnosis destroyed me.

Well over 8,000 people have already tested with one of our free HIV postal tests. Kpod AQwj H #HIVTest Week — It Starts With Me (@startswith_me) November 20, 2017 ‘Some people also say they don’t date or sleep with people ‘like me’, to which my response is ‘that you know of’,’ the clinical hypnotherapist and personal trainer from Luton said.

‘The truth is they may have slept with people who have HIV and don’t know it or even guys who know their status but haven’t said for fear of rejection, because there are a lot of gay men who remain undiagnosed.

‘There is still so much stigma out there that needs confronting, especially in the gay community,’ he said.

‘I’ve been told to get lost and die when I’ve told people I am HIV positive, because they think I’m spreading HIV.

‘I left the doctors that day catatonic and numb – life as a HIV positive man – and found myself crying down the phone to a friend, just managing to utter the word ‘positive’.’ He now realises his first reaction to fear the worst was not how things needed to be.

Dear Alice, I recently began dating a guy who is HIV positive.

I know how it is transmitted and the risks involved, but I was wondering if there are any statistics out about being infected in my similar situation.

‘I’d gone to the doctor for my normal screening, but been told some blood tests were inconclusive, so needed to go back for more.’ When he got there, the doctor assumed he already knew his status and said: ‘Okay, so you’re HIV positive and here for more tests’ – then walked out of the room.’ The test can be done with just a finger prick blood test or a saliva sample.

This database lists clinics and charities offering the testing services.

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