October 24, 2018

Eurovision victor Conchita Wurst reveals she is HIV positive

17 April 2018, 07:24 | Silvia Roy

Conchita found fame after winning Eurovision 2014 for Austria

Eurovision Queen Conchita Wurst announces HIV status as positive motivated and liberated

"I have been HIV-positive for many years", the 29-year-old pop singer, whose real name is Tom Neuwirth, told her almost 300,000 followers, adding that she had been forced into revealing her status by a former partner.

"I will not give anyone the right to frighten me and influence my life in the future", she wrote, adding that she had initially chose to keep her status private in order to spare her family - who she revealed had supported her "unconditionally".

Conchita took part in European singing competition Eurovision back in 2014, triumphing with her song Rise Like A Phoenix.

Former Eurovision Song Contest victor Conchita Wurst has revealed she is HIV positive and has been battling the disease for "several years".

"This is actually irrelevant to the public, but an ex-boyfriend is threatening to go public with this private information, and I will not give anyone the right to frighten me or affect my life", Wurst said.

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The singer also revealed that she has been aware of her disease and that she has also been receiving treatment for it for a long time now.

Aids charity The Terrence Higgins Trust expressed dismay that Wurst had been obliged to reveal her diagnosis. She also wanted her loved ones to avoid the unwarranted stigma of having a relative with HIV, but said they have supported her "unconditionally since day one". What other health condition would be used as blackmail against someone?

Conchita added that the virus is no longer detectable in her blood stream, and could no longer be transmitted to others.

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The second reason is that she believed the only people to whom this situation could be relevant to were the ones that represented a possible sexual partner.

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Wurst added: "I have been in medical treatment since I was diagnosed, and for many years [my viral load] has been under the detection limit, so I am not able to pass on the virus". HIV is heavily stigmatized, as are HIV-positive people.

It is maintained at this level by regular medication and takes around six months to achieve after being initially diagnosed with the virus. Coming out on one's own is better than being outed by someone else.

She thanked fans for their support, and said she feels "stronger, more motivated and liberated than ever".

Since sharing the news, Conchita has been flooded with messages of support from fans on social media.

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