Austrian Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst revealed in an Instagram post on Sunday that he has been receiving treatment for HIV for several years.
The 29-year-old singer said he had not intended to make the diagnosis public, but had been forced to do so because of threats from a former boyfriend.
“I have been HIV positive for many years,” Wurst wrote on Instagram. “This is actually irrelevant to the public, but an ex-boyfriend has threatened to take this private information public and I will never give anyone the right to frighten me and influence my life because of it.”
Wurst added that the virus was below the detectability threshold and could therefore no longer be passed on.
“I hope to give others courage and to take another step against the stigmatization of people who, through their own behavior or that of others, have become infected with HIV,” Wurst said.
According to Sky News, Ian Green, chief executive of the Terrence Higgins Trust, which campaigns on and provides services relating to HIV, said: “The decision to talk openly about your HIV status should be a personal one and not taken away or ever, ever used as a threat.
“Threatening to reveal someone’s HIV status, under any circumstances, is entirely wrong. What other health condition would be used as blackmail against someone? And we know this isn’t something which only happens to those in the public eye.