UPDATES: South African celebs who are HIV positive

South Africa, one of the countries with the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence globally, continues to face challenges despite numerous awareness programs aimed at educating the population about the virus. Many people in the country remain ignorant about the subject, highlighting the need for ongoing efforts.

In a commendable display of courage and commitment to raising awareness, several South African celebrities who are HIV positive have chosen to publicly disclose their status, serving as advocates for the cause. Their work deserves appreciation and celebration for the impact they have made.

Phindile Sithole-Spong, a South African celebrity living with HIV, contracted the virus at birth but only became aware of her status at the age of 19. Despite facing initial hardships, including the loss of friends and a boyfriend, she overcame these challenges and established Rebranding HIV, her HIV consultancy company, in 2012.

Phindile Sithole-Spong

Phindile Sithole-Spong

Additionally, she serves as a member of the AIDS Consortium Board of Directors and has delivered speeches at the World AIDS Conference in Washington. Phindile’s personal life is also thriving, as she is happily married and has a child.

Saidy Brown, another HIV positive South African celebrity, discovered her status at the age of fourteen. Having lost her parents to AIDS-related complications without being informed about the cause of their deaths, she initially lived in denial for four years.

Saidy Brown

Saidy Brown

However, upon turning 18, she bravely shared her status with the world and has since become an influential advocate for HIV awareness and mental health. Saidy received the Red Ribbon Foundation Youth For Change HIV/AIDS Activist Award in 2017 and continues her impactful awareness work.

Musa ‘Queen’ Njoko, a celebrated gospel artist, businesswoman, and motivational speaker, is also among the South African celebrities who live positively with HIV. Musa was diagnosed with the virus over two decades ago when she fell ill with TB.

Musa ‘Queen’ Njoko

Despite facing near-death experiences due to delayed diagnosis, she has used her music, business ventures, and motivational speaking to raise awareness in schools and advocate for the rights of those living with HIV. Additionally, she has developed training programs for HIV education.

Criselda Kananda Dudumashe, a TV and radio personality, content producer, businesswoman, advocate for HIV awareness, and former nurse, has been living with HIV for over 20 years. In 2020, she began using antiretroviral therapy (ARVs) after contracting COVID-19 and realizing their benefits.

Criselda, who is now married to businessman Siyolo Dudumashe, actively engages in raising awareness about HIV and has made significant contributions to the field.

Thabang Sefatsa, a retired footballer, openly shares his HIV positive status and encourages others, especially fellow athletes, to undergo testing. After testing positive for HIV in 2013, Thabang retired from professional football and chose to go public with his status in 2016, aiming to inspire more people to get tested.

It is crucial for everyone to be aware of their HIV status. If you have not been tested, consider the barriers that may be preventing you from doing so. Remember, getting tested is the only way to definitively know your HIV status.

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