London Man Claims He Was Denied Entry Into Gay Club For Having HIV Medication

A man says he was denied entry at a London gay club after being grilled for what turned out to be HIV medication.

The Incident

An HIV-positive man claims he was denied entry at one of London’s most famous gay clubs because he had HIV medication on him.

According to BuzzFeed News, the young man went to the club on the evening of last Wednesday, where security staff stopped him, searched him and found pills in his bag. They reportedly loudly grilled him in front of many other customers in the queue, asking him what they were.

“I take two tablets for HIV: one was loose in a pouch and the other one was still in its foil,” he said. He also told Buzzfeed that the foil had the drug’s name written on it.

“I was stood there in front of a load of people… and they were like, ‘You can’t bring this into the club’ and I said, ‘Why?’ And they said, “Because you can’t take pills into a nightclub.’” According to the man, he told them that it’s a medicine he has to take, but they still repeatedly refused due to the fact that he couldn’t “prove it.”

“So then I offered to take them in front of them,” he said, as a way to prove they weren’t illicit drugs. “I was trying to negotiate with them, I offered to leave the medication with them and pick them up at the end of the night. And they said no. I even offered to throw them away and they said no.”

Responses to the Incident

The incident prompted a couple of the largest HIV charities in Britain to call for the improvement of club staff training in order to be more capable and equipped to handle such situations. According to the 2010 Equality Act, it is illegal for a business to refuse to offer their services to someone based on whether or not they are HIV positive.

The man commented on his experience, saying: “I thought it was inappropriate. It’s quite humiliating. I was mortified – as a gay venue, that [explaining it’s HIV medication] should have been the end of the conversation. I’ve had similar things at other nightclubs where I’ve had my bag, and they’ve gone, ‘What’s that?’ And I’ve explained it’s HIV medication and instantly they go, ‘OK of course, come in, don’t worry.’”