Yesterday Erasure singer Andy Bell announced to the world that he is HIV Positive. Apparently he has known his status since June 1998 when he thought he simply had pneumonia. According to MTV News, Bell decided that he should let the world know and make this his first step in a larger plan of speaking out and educating people about HIV and AIDS.
Bell commented in his statement, "Being HIV-Positive does not mean that you have AIDS...My like expectancy should be the same as anyone else's so there is no need to panic. There is still so much hysteria and ignorance surrounding HIV and AIDS. Let's get on with life. The last couple of albums were a bit moody and down," Bell said in a statement announcing the album last month. "I'm so much happier with everything now. ... You can hear it in the music."
MTV News also reports that Bell's longtime partner, Paul Hickey, has also tested positive with HIV. Bell has been undergoing drug-combination therapy and said that not only is he feeling fine, he's feeling better than ever. Don't think that just because this news is public Bell is going to take things easy. Erasure expects to release their new album. Nightbird, on January 25 (via Mute Records) and also plan on going on an extensive tour to follow the release.
Want to catch the legendary duo on tour? After kicking off in the U.K. in February or March, they will follow up with a U.S. leg of 10 to 15 cities, in April or May. Rumors have it that there will be multiple shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. If you are lucky enough to live in New York, MTV News says that as many as 10 nights are being considered for New York alone, and Erasure are considering adding on dates as benefit shows to raise money for AIDS research and awareness.