Man dies after battle with AIDS after not knowing for years he was HIV-positive
A Scottish man has died from AIDS-related illness after he discovered he was HIV-positive years after contracting the virus.
Ross Scott, from Kirkaldy, was just 25-years-old and spent his final days in a hospice.
Late last year, he was given the devastating news that the virus had progressed to AIDS – meaning that he would only live for a limited time.
People very rarely die from AIDS-related illnesses in the UK today thanks to antiretroviral drugs, which significantly reduce a HIV-positive person’s viral load. However, if the virus is not caught early enough, it can still progress to AIDS.
Doctors thought Scottish man Ross Scott had MRSA when he presented with symptoms of HIV/AIDS.
Scott’s cousin Julie Shand said that hospital staff originally thought he had MRSA when he presented with a rash.
“He could have been tested for it sooner. At the moment, we think the doctors should have thought about that first instead of MRSA and things like that.”
Meanwhile, his mother Karen Scott said: “Everybody that met him fell in love with him.
He could have been tested for it sooner. At the moment, we think the doctors should have thought about that first instead of MRSA and things like that.
“He did his best with his story on Facebook to educate a lot of people about HIV.
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“The more people that become aware of what can happen and the preventative measures the better.”
Before he was diagnosed with HIV, Scott worked in charity shops and volunteered for Fife and Perthshire Pride events. Perthshire Pride will be naming its stage after him this year in his honour.
The heartbreaking case shows that there is ‘a lot more work to do’ around HIV.
HIV Scotland chief executive Nathan Sparling said that the case is “quite unique” and that it shows that there is “a lot more work to do” around HIV prevention.
In a statement released to PinkNews, Sparling said: “Ross was a kind, passionate young man and the news of his passing is indeed incredibly sad. Having known Ross personally, I know that he would want nothing less than for anyone else to be in a similar position.
“It is incredibly important for anyone who may have been at risk of HIV to get tested and know their status. In his memory, we’ll be increasing our campaign around HIV Testing to reach more people with the key information, and to challenge stigma to work towards reducing the number of late diagnoses in Scotland.”
Meanwhile, Shand has set up a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help raise funds to cover the cost of Scott’s funeral. She is trying to raise £3,000 to give him “the send-off he deserves.”