Former Eurovision song contest winner Conchita Wurst has opened up on her diagnosis with HIV.
The Austrian singer, who triumphed with ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’ in 2014, revealed how a blackmail threat from a former boyfriend prompted her to go public on her battle with the virus.
“I have been hiv-positive for many 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”, she wrote on Instagram.
And while the original post was in German, Wurst further elaborated in an English statement.
“Since I received the diagnosis, i have been in medical treatment, and for many years without interruption I have been below the detection limit, which means I am unable to transmit the virus”, she explained.
“Until now, I did not want to go public with this information for a number of reasons, only two of which I’ll mention: first and foremost my family, who know everything and have been supporting me since day one. I would have gladly spared them the attention connected to the HIV-status of their son, grandson and brother.
“Likewise, my friends have been aware of this for quite some time and are dealing with it with an impartiality, that I would wish everyone concerned. Secondly, it is information that, in my opinion, is almost exclusively relevant to those with whom sexual contact would be an option.”
The singer, sometimes known as Thomas Neuwirth, has long been a vocal advocate for LGBT+ equality, and challenged Vladimir Putin to talk to her during a performance at the European Union.