Responding to Mandela, Politician Tells of HIV

From Times Wire Services

Britain’s first openly gay lawmaker revealed that he has been HIV-positive for 17 years, saying he had been inspired by Nelson Mandela to tell the public he had the virus that causes AIDS.

Chris Smith, 53, the governing Labor Party’s former culture secretary, said he was responding to the former South African president’s call for more publicity about AIDS to fight the stigma attached to the disease.

Mandela appealed for more openness after disclosing that his eldest son had died this month of AIDS-related complications.