LATEST: ERASURE singer Andy Bell wanted to be diagnosed HIV positive because he thought it would cement his identity as a gay man.

British Bell, 40, announced last month (DEC04) he had been diagnosed with the virus that leads to AIDS in 1998 after falling ill with pneumonia on a trip to the Spanish island of Mallorca (Majorca).

The A LITTLE RESPECT frontman says, "You are going to think this strange, but I wanted to be HIV positive. I thought HIV was a touchstone of being gay.

"But I'm a fighter. They will have to take me from this world kicking and screaming."

Keyboardist Vince Clarke was not concerned about the future of the band when he heard Bell's news.

The 44-year-old says, "I had no fear this was the end. I have other friends in similar situations, and with the development of maintenance drugs, it wasn't a death sentence."

24/01/2005 13:56