When Claire Horn went for a sexual health check in April 2005, the last thing she expected was to be diagnosed with HIV. She was 22 and studying for a nursing degree in Leeds, and the check was part of the process for having a contraceptive implant placed in her arm. The diagnosis floored her.
“I probably smoked and drank far too much over the next year,” says Horn, who is now 36. “It wasn’t a good time.” She says she knew a little bit more about HIV than the average person but not enough to allay her fears about its impact on her life. “Did I know that the outlook for somebody in the UK with HIV was as positive as it turns out it is? Probably not.”