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I'd grown up as a gay kid in the early 80's so thought I was educated about what HIV was, but after having my drink spiked in a club in 2006 and testing positive for HIV a few months later I realised that I had a lot of learning still to do. As an actor in the West end and Off Broadway I was warned by my first London agent that no one living with HIV (or AIDS as she called it) would ever play a lead role whilst being open about this, and so led to 2 years of shame, stigma and not being honest with the closest people in my life. Eventually I decided that I could not allow theses secrets to control my life any longer, and so I started writing my story "Shadowed Dreamer", which then became a one man show that I took to New York and stared in for 9 months in 2009/2010. Getting to tell my story through Shadowed Dreamer, then made me realise that people just wanted to tell me their own stories and think that’s when it hit me how important all our stories are. I returned to London and started my youtube channel Hart Talks, and made it my goal to continue telling my own story, but also give others a space to tell theirs too. About a year ago I became a presenter on The HIV Hour radio show and decided that I wanted to give back with my story by becoming a positive voices speaker with THT. I can never forget how lonely and scared I was for those first two years of my diagnosis and as a performer I realise that I have a voice, it has become a driving force and be it though being a positive voices speaker or my youtube channel I hope that me being open and honest with my story, that it will help someone feel less like I did

Stephen Hart

Stephen Hart

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