The xx's Oliver Sim reveals he's been living with HIV since 17

24 May 2022, 11:11 | Updated: 24 May 2022, 12:17

Oliver Sim from The XX
Oliver Sim from The xx has revealed he has HIV. Picture: Roberto Finizio / Alamy Stock Photo

By Jenny Mensah

The xx vocalist and bassist has opened up about the inspiration behind his new solo single Hideous.

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Oliver Sim has revealed his HIV diagnosis.

The xx bassist and vocalist took to social media to share a candid and heartfelt post about his Hideous single, which he said is inspired by the fact he's been living with HIV since he was 17-years-old.

Taking to Instagram, he wrote: "Early on in the making of my record, Hideous Bastard, I realised that I was writing a lot about fear and shame.

"I imagine that might paint a picture of a dark, “woe is me” sounding album, but in recent years I’ve become a firm believer that the best antidote to these feelings can be bringing them to the surface and shedding some light on them."

The 32-year-old musician added: "Two thirds in, having a good idea of what the record was about, I realised I'd been circling around one of the things that has probably caused me the most fear and shame. My HIV status. I've been living with HIV since I was 17 and it's played with how I've felt towards myself and how I've assumed others have felt towards me, from that age and into my adult life."

See his post below:

The Crystalised artist went on to explain how after playing his single to his mother, she encouraged him to reach out to those closest to him and talk about his diagnosis.

"So, quite impulsively, I wrote about it on a song called Hideous," added Sim. "I thought I could release it into the world and be done with it. After playing the song to my mum, being the protective and wise mum that she is, she gave me some o the best advice I've ever received. She suggested that I spend some time having conversations with people in my life first. Either people I hadn't told yet, or people I had told but hadn't wanted to talk much further on it."

He added: "Since writing Hideous, I've spent the past two years having those conversations, which was difficult and uncomfortable to start with, but has allowed me to feel a lot freer and has only strengthened my relationship with myself and with the people in my life."

Watch the official video for Hideous here:

Oliver Sim - Hideous (Official Video)

Speaking about working with Bronski Beat and The Communards legend Jimmy Somerville, he wrote: "One of the most special relationships I’ve gained from this has been with Mr Jimmy Somerville. I knew for Hideous I wanted a guardian angel to appear in the song and sing to me the words I needed to hear.

"Not only has Jimmy been such a powerful voice around HIV & AIDS for decades but the man quite literally sounds like an angel. I reached out to him as a complete fan boy but now consider him a real good friend. He encouraged me to do the song for myself rather than seeing myself as a martyr for a cause. He’s taught me glamour is a Scottish word and most importantly he’s reminded me not to take myself too seriously, no good comes from that!"

READ MORE: How to watch It's A Sin starring Olly Alexander

If you've been affected by any of the themes in this article, please reach out to the resources below:

Terrence Higgins Trust

Tel: 0808 802 1221

Positively UK

Tel: 020 7713 0444

The National AIDS Trust