Europe

Eurovision winner Conchita forced to reveal HIV diagnosis

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Austrian singer and artist Conchita, who won the Eurovision song contest in 2014, revealed she is HIV positive in an Instagram post.

In a status posted on Monday, the 29-year-old disclosed to her 300,000 followers she has been HIV positive for “several years” and had chosen to reveal the information after an ex-boyfriend allegedly threatened to go public.

Conchita wrote that while she had no intention of talking openly about her diagnosis, she said she would “not give anyone the right to frighten me or affect my life.”

Conchita explained she had kept the information private in order to protect her family and friends.

“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.”

She also explained that she had been receiving treatment for HIV and her levels were now undetectable.

Conchita, formerly known as Conchita Wurst, gained international attention after winning the Eurovision song contest in 2014 for her song Rise Like a Phoenix.

Wurst is a recording artist and drag queen portrayed by Thomas Neuwirth.

Since taking out the top prize, Conchita has built a following around the world as a gay icon, touring internationally and performing at events like the Sydney Mardi Gras.

She said she hoped her story would help lessen the stigma that surrounds HIV and encourage a renewed conversation about the virus.  

“[By] taking this step, I hope to encourage others and help lessen the stigmatisation of people who have become infected with HIV through their own behaviour or innocently through that of others.”

“Zero discrimination is what the global H.I.V. community is fighting for,” she added. “This is still one of the most ambitious targets to reach.”

For more information on HIV Prevention and Support, please visit ACON here.

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Conchita Wurst interview with The Feed's Marc Fennell (2015)

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