This article is from the R.E.M. FAQ, by Ron Henry (firstname.lastname@example.org) with numerous contributions by others.
Uh, yeah, we heard. In fact, every few months or so a new contributor
decides to share this so-called "fact" with us. There is absolutely nothing
to substantiate such a rumor and questions and comments stating that Stipe
is HIV+ are considered by some newsgroup readers to be in poor taste, and
insensitive to the feelings of newsgroup readers who are struggling with
the disease. In some recent interviews Stipe has mentioned how upsetting
and cruel he found this rumor to be, that he is naturally very thin, and
that he feels he is now in the best shape of his life.