Earlier today, Conchita Wurst, who won the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, took to Instagram and went public with her HIV status.
Conchita, the alter ego of Austrian artist Tom Neuwirt, shared with her followers that she has been HIV+ for many years, and decided to come out with this news following a threat by one of her ex boyfriends to out her.
In a very emotional statement the 2014 ESC winners writes: “Today is the day I am free from the Sword of Damocles for the rest of my life: I have been HIV positive for many years. This is actually irrelevant to the public, but an ex-boyfriend threatens to go public with this information, and I will not give anyone the right to frighten me and influence my life in the future. Since I received the diagnosis, I am in medical treatment, and for many years without interruption under the detection limit [undetectable], so not able to pass on the virus.”
Conchita continues to say: “ Coming out is better than being outed by someone else. I hope to have the courage to fight stigmatization of people who have become infected by HIV, either through their own behaviour or through no fault of their own.
‘To my fans: the information about my HIV status may be news to you – my status is not! I’m well and I’m stronger, more motivated and liberated than ever. Thank you for your support!’‘
Conchita’s statement is a good reminder of how much we love her, and how brave she is. HIV, despite becoming a controlled and manageable chronic disease, is still stigmatized in our society. Find out how you can help break the stigma by clicking HERE and don’t forget to FOLLOW Conchita on IG and LIKE her post.