Conchita Wurst comes out as HIV-positive

Image Jansenberg Fotographie

Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst has revealed that she is HIV-positive.

The 29-year-old Austrian, who won Eurovision in 2014 with Rise like a Phoenix, said on Instagram that she had disclosed her status because a former boyfriend was threatening to go public with the information.

“I will not give anyone the right to frighten me and influence my life,” she wrote.

“Coming out is better than being outed by a third party.”

She said that she had been positive for several years, but was in good health and that the virus was no longer detectable in her blood which means that it cannot be passed on.

Ian Green, chief executive of the Terrence Higgins Trust, praised Wurst’s handling of the matter with dignity.

He added: “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.”