A selfie of Danny Whitebread with his fiancé.
Danny (left) with his fiancée.

Our amazing fundraiser Danny Whitebread decided to support Terrence Higgins Trust and run the London Marathon in April this year, 10 years on from his own HIV diagnosis.

Here’s Danny on why he has chosen to fundraise for the cause.

“When I was diagnosed with HIV at 18, I was so fearful that I wouldn’t have a normal life. I decided to do the London Marathon to celebrate how far I’ve come since then and to show that I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been. I literally take a pill a day and that’s it. It keeps my immune system healthy and means I can’t pass HIV on to my fiancé.

“After my HIV diagnosis, I wasn’t put onto treatment straight away because my doctor wanted to see how my viral load balanced out. It felt like I was a ticking time bomb. I wasn’t really scared of dying, but my self-esteem was so low. I thought I would never find someone who would want to be with me.

“Everything changed when a friend of mine met a guy who was HIV positive and on effective treatment, meaning he was undetectable and couldn’t pass HIV on. He told me to go to my doctor and demand medication, which I did.

“Becoming undetectable gave me confidence, but I suffered from bad mental health because of the stigma. I didn’t tell anyone about being diagnosed with HIV for a long time. I eventually told my best friend and told people I was dating. I’ve had such a mixture of reactions, but I think regardless of how someone responds, the stigma in your mind is always the same. You always imagine every possible negative outcome and never consider that someone might genuinely be supportive.

“My fiancé was so reassuring when I told him. He said, ‘Look, I understand that must have been really difficult for you to tell me.’ It was just nice to have that level of support, and he’s been there for me throughout our relationship, encouraging me to share my story to raise awareness of HIV.

“I’m in my best physical and mental health. 10 years ago, I could never have dreamed I’d be where I am today. By running the London Marathon, I wanted to clearly send the message that HIV doesn’t have to hold anyone back.”

A massive thank you, Danny. It’s because of your support that we can continue to support so many others affected by HIV.

If you’re feeling inspired to take on a challenge event for Team Terry, why not sign up and lace up today.

You can also email us at [email protected] for any questions.