South Africa is one of the countries with the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the world. Although a lot of awareness programs have been created to ensure that people are well-educated about the virus, sadly, many people are still ignorant about the subject.
Even though it’s not mandatory to reveal their status in public, some South African celebrities who are HIV positive have bravely announced their status to the world as a way of creating awareness and encouraging others to know their status.
Here are a few South African celebrities who are HIV positive and have been advocating for more awareness about the virus in the country through their works.
Let’s take a moment to applaud and celebrate them for their courage and good work.
Phindile Sithole is one of the South African celebrities who are HIV positive. She contracted the virus 32 years ago when she was born but only discovered her status when she was 19 years old.
Discovering and revealing her status changed her life. She lost friends, and her boyfriend, whom she had been dating for two months, left her. It was quite a devastating time for her.
However, Phindile overcame this initial challenge, and she is currently an activist for HIV awareness through her HIV consultancy company- Rebranding HIV that she founded in 2012.
Besides that, Phindile is also a member of the AIDS Consortium Board of Directors and has been a guest speaker at the World Aids Conference in Washington.
Her personal life is also thriving as she is married and has one child.
Saidy Brown, credit: Facebook
This curvaceous young lady with one of the brightest smiles on God’s earth is another South African celebrity who is HIV positive and she describes herself as HIVictor.
Speaking to BBC after disclosing her status on Twitter, Saidy Brown, who was born with HIV, revealed that she found out about her status when she was fourteen. Her parents had died a few years before due to AIDS-related complications, but the cause of their death had not been revealed to her.
For the next four years, Saidy lived in denial, and she only went public with her status after she turned 18. Since then, she has been living loudly and unapologetically positively.
In 2017, she was awarded the Red Ribbon Foundation Youth For Change HIV/AIDS Activist Award for her activism, and she continues to create awareness about HIV and mental health.
Musa ‘Queen’ Njoko
Musa Njoko is a celebrated gospel artist, a businesswoman, and a motivational speaker. She is also one of the South African celebrities who is HIV positive and living positively.
Queen was diagnosed with the virus over twenty years ago when she fell sick with TB. Doctors didn’t immediately identify that she had Tuberculosis, and she almost died.
Along with her music and business, Musa Njoko has also been instrumental in creating awareness in schools, advocating for the rights of those who are HIV positive, and has also developed training packages for the virus.
Criselda Kananda Dudumashe
Criselda Kananda is a TV and radio personality, content producer, businesswoman, advocate for HIV awareness, and ex-nurse. She is also one of the few South African celebrities who have been living with the virus for a long time.
The mother of three tested positive for HIV over 20 years ago, but she didn’t start using ARVs, which she often termed as harmful until 2020, when she contracted COVID-19.
She is currently married to businessman Siyolo Dudumashe after getting a divorce from her first husband.
Retired footballer Thabang Sefatsa is another South African celebrity who is HIV positive and very open about his status.
The former player for Roses FC and Tigers FC tested positive for HIV in 2013 and shortly retired from his profession.
In 2016, he went public with his status, a move which he said was meant to encourage more people and especially other football players, to go for testing.
Do you know your HIV status? If not, what has prevented you from getting tested? Remember, getting tested is the only sure way to know your HIV status.