Conchita Wurst has revealed she is HIV positive in a public statement to fans.
The Eurovision winner made the decision after an ex-boyfriend threatened to go public with her status.
The 29-year-old star, who won the Eurovision Song Contest for Austria in 2014 with her anthem ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’, has been inundated with messages of support since issuing her statement on Instagram.
Conchita, the alter-ego and drag queen created by Tom Neuwirth, says in the post (published in her native German language) that she will not give anyone the right to frighten her or negatively influence the future of her life.
Her full (translated) statement says: “Today is the day to free me 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 me to go public with this private 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, so that so not able to pass on the virus.
“I did not want to go public with it for a couple of reasons so far, I just want to mention two of them here: The most important one was my family, which has known and supported me unconditionally since day one. I would have gladly spared you the attention of the HIV status of your son, grandson and brother.
“Likewise, my friends have been aware of this for quite some time and are dealing with it in an unbiased way that I would wish to everyone and everyone concerned.”
She continues: “Secondly, it is an information that I believe is mainly relevant to those people with whom sexual contact is an option.
“Coming out is better than being outed by someone else. I hope to build up courage and take another step against the 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 new 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 is scheduled to host the Amadeus Austrian Music Awards later this month and is also working with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra on a new album, ‘From Vienna With Love’, which is due for release in October.