For as long as we’ve known about HIV/AIDS, people have had to confront the realities of coming out as living with HIV. Sharing your HIV status with loved ones may be difficult and when you’re in the public eye, coming out as HIV positive adds a crucial choice about whether you want the entire world to know about your status.
Many celebrities have opted to open up about that aspect of their lives to the general public. Often, that decision benefits the rest of us as well: by coming out, they may humanise the illness for many individuals who would otherwise have no contact with someone who is publicly living with the virus. They can aid in raising awareness and combating stigma in many ways.
Musa “Queen” Njoko
At the age of 22, the renowned gospel singer came out publicly about her HIV-positive status in 1995 at a time when medication was not available in her home country of South Africa. She was subjected to a great deal of discrimination and hatred, but she also received encouragement and support, allowing her to enjoy a long and healthy life despite the condition.
In 2013, the former Roses United midfielder was diagnosed with HIV, which he has been living with since.
While addressing at an AIDS awareness event in Pretoria in 2016, Thabang, who has been infected with the virus for close to 5 years, announced that he was HIV positive. He also claimed that he was sharing the delicate information in order to inspire other players to do the same.
Among the Mzansi celebrities that have HIV is Saidy Brown, a young actress who is also a model and actor. She discovered she was infected with the virus when she was 14 years old.
Her parents died as a result of the sickness, which she got from them. It was when she was nine years old that her father passed away, with her mother following him a year after that. She first became aware of her condition as a result of an HIV test that was conducted at their school, the results of which she received in shock and did not disclose to anyone until six months later, when she revealed the news to her aunt, who informed her of the HIV status of her parents and the possible source from which she contracted the disease.
Her body began to deteriorate as a result of her refusal to receive therapy over the following two years, and she was only 16 when she was finally forced to take medicine.
Author and radio personality Criselda Dudumashe has written a book, ‘You Are Never Alone: God’s Favourite Daughter,’ in which she shares her experiences of living with the condition.
Over the course of several years, Criselda has served as an HIV/AIDS ambassador. While on the road delivering presentations about living with the fatal condition, she meets with people from all over the country.