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America’s Got Talent star reveals he is HIV-positive

Nick Duffy April 21, 2015

America’s Got Talent singer Branden James has revealed that he is HIV-positive.

The opera singer, who was a finalist on the eighth series of the talent competition in 2013, opened up about living with HIV in an interview with ATeen.

He said: “I’d had relationships with HIV-positive guys in the past. Sometimes we slipped up. It happens. It was the mid 2000s and this was at the time in HIV care when doctors thought it was better to wait to take medications until you had to. There was nothing like PreP available at the time, so the risk of transmission was likely.

He continued: “I guess I expected the inevitable given my recent behaviour. And my expectation was right. The woman [in the clinic] told me I was HIV+.

“I kept it a deep dark secret to everyone except the trusted few. Fast forward 10 years and here I am now. I’ve decided that I can’t allow myself to feel isolated anymore.

“I’ve grown up my entire feeling different – feeling like I didn’t belong. But being unique is interesting. Being different sets you apart from everyone else.

“I realized that we’re all given circumstances in life, and if we don’t share those stories which make up who we are, we miss out on so many opportunities to inspire people and help people.

“I decided to be brave and write about it in this very visible magazine. I recently stood up in front of a crowd of 140 strangers the other day and told them.

“I had planned to tell America’s Got Talent about it when I was on the show, but my partner at the time was afraid of the backlash it might cause for his own life.”

In the UK, two Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidates made history this month by revealing that they are HIV-positive.

Watch a clip of the singer below:

More: AIDS, America's Got Talent, Branden James, contest, Gay, HIV, LGBT, singer, talent, US, virus

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