HIV-positive Indian Khundrakpam Pradipkumar was recently awarded the title of Mr. Manipur, besting his negative peers in the annual bodybuilding competition, online magazine The Cheers reports (, 1/14).

“Every person believes that once you are infected by HIV, you will die,” said Pradipkumar, 37, who was diagnosed in 2000. “But this is not a fact. If you will continue to consume the medicine on time and have healthy food, then you can spend your life in a normal way. This is what I wanted to show to the people.”

Pradipkumar is no stranger to athletic competition, winning third place in his state wrestling championship in 1985 and a state-level gold medal for power lifting in 1987. He added that he is looking forward to representing his home state in the Mr. India competition in March.