This HIV-positive immigrant is using free hugs to campaign against Ukip

Activist Bisi Alimi was diagnosed with HIV in 2004 but was too scared to seek treatment in Nigeria due to the stigma surrounding homosexuality.

Three years later he fled the country when someone tried to kill him when he was outed as gay.

As The Independent reported last month, the 40-year-old has previously spoken out against Nigel Farage's "deeply offensive" comments on health tourism from immigrants with HIV, saying: “When I came to this country in 2007 I was running away from being killed. I love my country and I want to make change at home, but there was an attempt on my life. I thought, ‘If I’m going to stay alive I’ve got to leave my country.’ I had no idea that I could claim asylum, and that I could have access to treatment.”

Last Friday, Alimi went to Thanet South to campaign against Ukip with a sign reading: "I'm an immigrant. Hug me or ask me a question."

Alimi told the Mirror the move came after he experienced "a racist attack from a Ukip member" while he was previously campaigning against Farage. "The old man called me a lazy immigrant," he said. "I faced my fear, I went into the town hall, with a placard and stood there for 5 hours asking people to hug me or ask me a question.

"It was such a powerful turn around of events that many people told me they wanted to vote Ukip but after asking me questions changed their mind."

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