As part of the opening of the 22nd International AIDS Conference, which is currently taking place in Amsterdam, the 2014 Eurovision winner, Conchita, took the podium and talked against the stigmatisation of people living with the AIDS-causing virus, HIV, or the disease itself.
Following the revelation of her HIV+ status back in April, Conchita has been taking part in a large number of informative events and actions related to that issue. In fact, her speech at the conference in the Dutch capital, was mainly focused on the antiretroviral therapy, where many HIV-positive people don’t but should have access.
Initially, Conchita refered to the stigmatisation of people living with HIV/AIDS, convinced that this happens due to lack of awareness about this particular virus and its caused illness.
When talking about her own case, she admitted that the most difficult part was to speak openly about her infection, but in the end she realized that her fears were unfounded, as she finally received “nothing but support“, as she stated. That support is now her motivation to talk more about the issue and help prevent it from being treated as a taboo, she pointed out.
About the antiretroviral therapy
Antiretroviral therapy was the medicine that contributed in Conchita’s current normal health condition and the speaker pointed out its vital benefits.
Αntiretroviral therapy allows HIV-positive people to live long, healthy lives. As long as people have access to treatment, they can end up virally suppressed, unable to transmit the virus, and (to) carry on with pursuing their life passions and realising their dreams.
You can touch us, you can kiss us, you can love us just as you would anyone else.
However, the way is still long, since 15 million vectors have not yet accessed the planned treatment. This is exactly the great problem of the current times, as Conchita stresses, wondering when it will be overcome.
How long will it take until we make our research and affordable therapies accessible to every single human who needs it? I would like to know why medical treatment advances that I have access to are still not available to so many affected.
You may find out all information about the currently-running conference in Amsterdam on its official website.
Conchita at Eurovision
In September 2013, the Austrian national broadcaster ORF officially announced that Conchita Wurst, the bearded drag stage persona of Tom Neuwirth, who had previously tried to fly the Austrian flag at the Eurovision Song Contest 2012, was internally chosen to represent the country at the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen.
Her ballad song Rise like a phoenix, penned by Charlie Mason, Joey Patulka, Ali Zuckowski and Julian Maas, was revealed in March 2014. In May of the same year, Conchita qualified from the second semi-final and was crowned the overall winner of the competition, with a total of 290 points and 13 sets of 12 points. The Eurovision victory of the bearded persona has been featured as one of the most radical and remarkable moments in the contest’s history.
Remember her winning performance at the 2014 Grand Final: