Surrounded by the ornate oak panelling, green leather benches and 800 years of history,MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle has made a new piece of history.
"Next year I’ll be marking an anniversary.. 10 years since I became HIV positive," he told those MPs gathered in the House of Commons for an adjournment debate on HIV and World AIDS day this afternoon.
It is the first time a serving MP has ever spoken in the chamber of the House about such a diagnosis.
"It is a scary thing to do," he said in an exclusive interview before today's debate.
"But I am a paid politician and one of my jobs is to show how the personal becomes political, and vice versa.
"That doesn't meant the public need to know the ins and outs of every politician's personal life, but it does mean where there are links and you can help others, you need to speak out."
MPs listened in silence as the young politician spoke about one of the most intimate aspects of his life.
He told the Commons: "It’s been a long journey – from the fear to acceptance and from today advocacy, knowing my treatment keeps me healthy and that it protects any partner I have."
The majesty of parliament is a far cry from the room where a decade ago Lloyd, then a 22-year-old student, found himself as he received his life-changing diagnosis.
"They took me into a consulting room about the size of a disabled toilet and decorated in pretty much the same kind of way; plasticated seating, false ceilings, bright neon light and those beige walls they all have.
"The person who'd done my blood test came in with a woman counsellor. I remember them saying, 'we have got some bad news' and 'is there anyone you will be able to talk to afterwards' and I just said 'Yeh, yeh just tell me what it is.'
"And when they do, it hits you like a wall. My first feeling was this is some joke, this is some candid camera and someone is going to pop around the corner and say 'Surprise'.
"It would be a horrible kind of joke but you still hope that might be it. Or it's some kind of stringent sex education lesson to scare the shit out of you. But unfortunately it is not that.
"Your mouth goes dry and there is that sick but not sick feeling inside that feels like you want to get rid of everything inside you – but there is nothing inside you because it's as if everything has been taken away.
"And your brain is working at a million miles away so you're not really listening to what they're saying – that's just mumbling in the background.
Culled from the Mirror.