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HIV sufferer speaks out about the stigma he faced: "My grandparents never spoke to me, it was horrendous"

It's the eve of World Aids Day and a man who contracted HIV in 1979 has been speaking about the stigma he faced when people found out about his illness.

Chris Kearl says he lost his job, and his grandparents didn't speak to him again. He was also told he had a life expectancy of 18 months.

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Balloons released in Birmingham to raise awareness of HIV testing

Balloons have been released at the Birmingham Heartland's Hospital to raise awareness of HIV testing Credit: ITV Central

Heartland's Hospital in Birmingham is marking World AIDS Day which is taking place tomorrow.

The aim is to reduce the stigma surrounding HIV tests and raise awareness of the virus.

Today 50 red balloons were released as part of the campaign.

Hospital attempts to reduce stigma surrounding HIV tests

People in the Midlands urged to get tested for HIV Credit: PA

Birmingham's Heartlands Hospital will hold a celebration to mark its 20th anniversary as well as marking tomorrow's World AIDS Day.

The HIV service at the hospital will host a number of sports stars in an attempt to reduce the stigma which comes with be tested for HIV.

The Health Protection Agency says the number new cases of HIV in the West Midlands fell last year but rose in the East Midlands.

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