Controversial Quebec singer who denied COVID-19, HIV/AIDS, dies

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Bernard Lachance, Quebec singer who denied HIV/AIDS treatment, dies.

A controversial Quebec singer who used his platform to share conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS, has died.

Bernard Lachance, originally from Montmagny, Quebec, garnered fame for his ambitious pursuit of performing. He would rent out theatres with his own money and sell his CD and tickets to his concerts on the streets, regardless of not having any representation.

In 2009, he rented out the Chicago Theatre, despite being virtually unknown. After posting a video asking Oprah to come to his show, the talk show host sent a crew to invite him to make his American debut on her show. There, he sang "The Impossible Dream” in both French and English.

More recently, he became known for sprouting various conspiracy theories around COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS, despite having the virus. After appearing on journalist Denis Lévesque's show last year under the pretence of talking about HIV, he instead used his time to make claims about the virus, and its connection to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pre-taped segment never aired, Lachance posted the video to his YouTube channel, which garnered over 441,000 views. In his Twitter bio, he referred to himself an “HIV = AIDS fraud whistleblower."

His sister Marie-Claude Lachance told La Presse that her brother, who was 46, had stopped taking his HIV/AIDS treatment years ago and instead was using natural products. His exact cause of death is not known.

“Recently he did some sort of purge to disinfect his body of all the drugs he had taken,” she told the outlet. “He had diarrhea for weeks. When I saw him for the last time a few days ago, he was skeletal.”

His mother Andrée Côté told Le Journal de Quebec that her son would have likely had a chance to live if he’d continued taking his medication.

"If he had not stopped his treatment, he would be alive like everyone else," she said.