The thought of HIV strikes fear into the hearts of many people.
In contrast, Type 2 diabetes is rapidly becoming normalised and many people see it as a mere inconvenience, or even an inevitable part of ageing.
But now, one doctor has claimed he would rather have HIV than Type 2 diabetes
Writing in The Spectator, Dr Max Pemberton said: ‘As a doctor I can tell you that, medically speaking, I’d rather have HIV than diabetes.
‘While this might sound shocking or surprising, the facts speak for themselves: the prognosis for those with Type 2 diabetes is much worse than for those with HIV.’
Dr Pemberton goes on to explain that it is now very rare for someone to die of HIV in the UK and that, in fact, people with the virus have a very similar life expectancy to people who are HIV-negative.
He says that, assuming patients take their medication, they experience very few problems as a result of being HIV-positive.
In contrast, he says the situation is very different for people with Type 2 diabetes.
Dr Pemberton, a psychiatrist in the NHS, says people with Type 2 diabetes are more than twice as likely to have a stroke as people without the disease.
He says they are also four times more likely to have heart disease and that 20 to 30 per cent of patient have kidney problems which can lead to the need for regular dialysis.
He added that diabetes can also lead to blindness, foot ulcers and amputations.
He explained that HIV can be treated very successfully with highly active antiretroviral therapy (Haart) which prevents the development of the opportunistic infections that kill people with untreated HIV/AIDs.
He says many people believe that Type 2 diabetes can also be easily treated with medication but that this is not the case.
Dr Pemberton explained that the disease is progressive meaning people usually end up needing insulin injections and that they suffer serious consequences from having the disease.
He concludes: ‘To put it starkly, the latest statistics show that because of Haart, HIV now no longer reduces your life expectancy, while having Type 2 diabetes typically reduces it by ten years.’