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Frankie Goes to Hollywood star: I didn’t believe my HIV medication would work

September 23, 2014

Pop legend Holly Johnson has opened up about living with HIV, admitting that he thought he wouldn’t survive after his diagnosis.

The former Frankie Goes to Hollywood frontman was diagnosed with HIV in 1991 and went public about his status in 1994. He’s been on antiretroviral treatment since 1996.

“Even then, I didn’t believe it was going to work,” Johnson said in an interview to The Observer Magazine.

“I live like a nun. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I haven’t done for years. I take copious amounts of vitamins and medications. I do everything possible to support my health.”

“But I’m in the same boat with millions of other people who have other illnesses,” he continued.

“Unfortunately the drugs have side effects. I’ve developed Type 2 diabetes now because of that, and have to take more medication for that.

“But I’m not whining about it, and I never will. Because I’m so lucky in many respects.

“Many beautiful friends who were my gay extended family have gone. So I’m kind of living for them also in some ways.”

This month Johnson released Europa, his first solo album in 15 years.

The track ‘You’re in My Dreams Tonight’ is dedicated to a previous friend who died in 1991.

“I loved him,” said Johnson. “We weren’t boyfriends in the traditional sense. Maybe for a short period… But he was one of those people that you can love. Sadly, he only lived to the age of 31. And he appeared to me in a dream – he gave me a hug and said: ‘Everything’s going to be all right.’”

Johnson added: “And he wasn’t the only friend who died in 1991. Or 1990. Or 1985 even. It got closer and closer to me as the years went by. So I was fully expecting that I was next.”

More: antiretroviral treatment, gay pop star, gay singer, HIV

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