Conchita Wurst. | Photo: Twitter/@ConchitaWurst
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst has been forced reveal her HIV status after being allegedly blackmailed by her ex-boyfriend.
Wurst revealed she had ‘been HIV positive for many years’ in a moving Instagram post.
The 2014 Eurovision winner decided to let the world know her status because an ex-boyfriend had tried to blackmail her.
‘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,’ Wurst wrote.
Most known for performing in drag with a full beard, Wurst won Eurovision with her song ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’.
She has received treatment for HIV for many years and said she was doing well.
‘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 wrote.
Why Wurst went public now
Wurst told her fans that there were a number of reasons she had not gone public with her status earlier.
They were to spare her family the attention of having a relative living with HIV. But her family have supported her ‘unconditionally since day one’.
The second reason was because the information was only relevant to people she chose to have sexual contact with.
But Wurst understood by coming out she has the power to end the stigma against people living with HIV.
‘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 behavior or through no fault of their own,’ she said.
‘To my fans: the information about my hiv status may be new to you – my status is not! I’m well and well, and I’m stronger, more motivated and liberated than ever. Thank you for your support!’