Andy Bell (search), lead singer of synth-pop duo Erasure (search), said Wednesday he was feeling fine six years after being diagnosed with HIV (search).

In a statement posted on Erasure's Web site, Bell, 40, said he had been diagnosed with the virus that causes AIDS in 1998 after falling ill with pneumonia on a trip to the Spanish island of Mallorca.

Bell, who recently had a double hip replacement, said he remained healthy and was "feeling fine — in fact I have never felt better."

"Being HIV does not mean that you have AIDS. My life expectancy should be the same as anyone else's, so there is no need to panic," he said.

"There is still so much hysteria and ignorance surrounding HIV and AIDS. Let's just get on with life, i.e. music, doing a live tour and generally having a good time."

Bell and former Depeche Mode and Yazoo keyboardist Vince Clarke formed Erasure in 1985 and have had hits including "A Little Respect," "Sometimes" and "Ship of Fools."