Freddie Mercury kept AIDS diagnosis a secret to ‘protect his family and friends’

Queen frontman Freddie Mercury lost his battle with AIDS 30 years ago this week when he was just 45-years-old.

The legendary singer only told his closest friends and family of his diagnosis even though the disease was destroying his body.

Mercury's bandmate and close friend Brian May revealed in 2017 to The Sunday Times how the disease was affecting him.

He said: "The problem was actually his foot, and tragically there was very little left of it.

"Once, he showed it to us at dinner. And he said, 'Oh Brian, I'm sorry I've upset you by showing you that'.

"And I said, 'I'm not upset, Freddie, except to realise you have to put up with all this terrible pain'."

Mercury was determined to keep his illness a secret from his millions of fans around the world therefore, spent the final two years of his life isolating with only his closest friends visiting him.

Singer Elton John and Mary Austin were described by Mercury as "the love of my life" after being added to his inner circle for his final few weeks.

Peter Freestone, Mercury's personal assistant saw how the star struggled in his final months.

He said: "Freddie knew about the HIV/AIDS virus appearing around the world, and knew of friends dying from the disease, so obviously that played on his mind.

"He might have thought he was infected, but again, like many of us, he put it to the back of his mind, thinking ‘it won’t happen to me’.

"You must remember in those days it really was a death sentence, it still is today, but now the end can be put off."

It is reported that the singer realised he was battling AIDS four years before he died.

Mercury was in denial and didn't want to find out the truth until his close friend Mary persuaded him to get tested.

Peter added: "Freddie had a biopsy taken on a mark in his hand. Freddie’s doctor tried to call Freddie, who just didn’t want to take the call.

"Eventually the doctor called Mary and told her he had to speak to Freddie urgently, so Mary then had to persuade Freddie to speak to his doctor.

"I’m sure Freddie had an idea what the doctor was going to say, so didn’t want to hear the diagnosis."

Mercury stopped taking his AIDS medication after a trip to Switzerland in 1991 but spent his final days recording Queen's final album, Made In Heaven.

The album was released after the lead singer's death.

The star kept the world in the dark about his diagnosis until just 24 hours before his tragic death on November 24, 1991.

Writing a statement to tell the world, Mercury said: "Following enormous conjecture in the press, I wish to confirm that I have been tested HIV positive and have AIDS.

"I felt it correct to keep this information private in order to protect the privacy of those around me.

"However, the time has now come for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth, and I hope everyone will join with me, my doctors, and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease."

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