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LGBTI

Facing blackmail, Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst reveals she’s HIV-positive

The Austrian drag queen said she had been blackmailed by a former friend

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 April, 2018, 3:51pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 April, 2018, 5:08pm

Bearded diva Conchita Wurst said she’s HIV-positive and has been living with the virus for many years.

The Austrian drag queen, who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2014, said on Instagram late Sunday she had been blackmailed by a former friend who wanted to publish the information and decided to come out herself with it before he did.

Conchita wrote that she has been receiving medical treatment for many years and that she is feeling healthy and strong.

Conchita, the alter ego of Thomas Neuwirth, wrote that “coming out is better than being outed by a third party”

She said: “I hope to encourage (others) and make a step against the stigmatisation of people who through their own behaviour or through no fault of their own were infected with HIV.”

Wurst shot to fame with her Eurovision-winning song “Rise Like A Phoenix” and used her platform to campaign for gay rights.

In February she announced a new album in collaboration with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and is due to host the Amadeus Austrian Music Awards next week.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse