South Wales Man Wants To Break Myths Surrounding HIV

This is Garry...he grew up in the Rhondda. He used to be a technical director for Sony Films in the UK..charged with making sure movies like The Prince of Tides and Philadelphia were perfect for release. 

Highlights included doing Royal premieres and meeting the stars of the movies. He was living the dream. 

In 1991 Garry was diagnosed with HIV. Over the next 5 years his health deteriorated to the point he was at the brink of death. But a breakthrough in drugs to treat the virus changed everything. 

Within 3 years he was on the road to recovery - retraining as a pilates and personal trainer. He was also put through a referral programme helping people who were newly diagnosed.

Garry got so much from it - he decided not to return to his career in the film industry - and he now trains people with HIV to provide peer support across the UK with Postively UK.

He told us: "When you first get diagnosed it can be very a very lonely place and quite isolating - you don't know who you can talk to and trust.  But  when you meet someone else with the condition, who has been through it - it is such a relief.

"People with HIV are now living longer, taking less drugs - but still  having the same efficacy outcomes. 

"They also have access to much bigger support networks than at the start of the epidemic in the 1980's."

You can LISTEN to full interview here: 

More from Local