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The xx’s Oliver Sim says he has been “living with HIV” since age 17

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The xx’s Oliver Sim has shared that his new song is about being diagnosed with HIV when he was 17-years-old. “Early on in the making of my record, Hideous Bastard, I realised that I was writing a lot about fear and shame,” he wrote on social media on 23 May. “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.” He explained that during the process of making the album, he “realised I’d been circling around one of the things that has probably caused me the most fear and shame.

My HIV status.” Oliver continued: “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.” Hideous was produced by Jamie xx and features Jimmy Somerville, who Oliver described as “a guardian angel” and praised for being “such a powerful voice around HIV & AIDS for decades”.

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