South Africa is among the countries with the highest HIV/AIDs cases in Africa. While a lot of awareness has been created by private and public entities, HIV remains one of the country's biggest health challenges. Like in other countries, it is not mandatory for one to get tested or even disclose their HIV status. Still, this has not prevented the various Mzansi celebrities who are HIV positive from publicly acknowledging their status.
Decades ago, there was extreme stigmatization of those who were HIV-positive. While there is still some stigma today, the situation has improved greatly. Several South African celebrities who are HIV-positive have come out to acknowledge their statuses in a bid to improve awareness amongst the public.
Mzansi celebrities who are HIV positive
Here is a look at HIV-positive celebrities in South Africa.
- Year of birth: March 21, 1962
- Age: 60 years (as of 2022)
- Occupation: Film director, AIDS activist
Achmat is a hugely popular South African film director, AIDS activist, and the current chairman and founder of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). He went public with his status in 1998 and has since been at the forefront of the fight for an HIV-free South Africa.
- Year of birth: November 1989
- Age: 32 years (as of 2022)
- Occupation: TV Show host, HIV activist, and founder of Rebranding HIV
Phindile Sithole-Spong is among the best-known celebrities who are HIV-positive in South Africa. The renowned SABC1's Rise presenter discovered she had AIDs at 19. This led to her breakup with her then-boyfriend. Since then, she has been part of South Africa's fight against HIV. She is currently engaged to the love of her life.
- Year of birth: September 9, 1969
- Age: 53 years (as of 2022)
- Occupation: TV personality, radio host, businesswoman, motivational speaker
Criselda is one of South Africa's best-known radio and television show hosts. She was diagnosed with HIV more than 20 years ago and has allegedly lived with the virus without taking any ARVs. At the time of her diagnosis, she was 7 months pregnant.
- Date of birth: April 11 1979
- Age: 43 years (as of 2022)
- Occupation: Former footballer
Thabang is a retired footballer who played for Tigers FC and Roses FC. He tested positive for HIV back in 2013 and retired from professional football shortly afterwards. When he went public with this status, he said the move was meant to encourage other South African soccer players with HIV to go for testing and go public.
Musa 'Queen' Njoko
- Year of birth: 1979
- Age: 43 years (as of 2022)
- Occupation: Gospel singer
Musa Njoko is a well-known South African gospel artist, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. She was among the first HIV-positive female celebrities in South Africa to go public about their status. She was diagnosed with HIV after suffering from some opportunistic ailments that finally got to a terrible bout of TB.
Musa has lived with the virus for more than 20 years now, having been diagnosed when she was 22 years old.
- Year of birth: 1997
- Age: 25 years (as of 2022)
- Occupation: Actress
Saidy is a South African actress born with HIV. She found out about her status at the age of 14 and has used her status to educate other people about HIV using social media. The actress contracted the disease from her parents, who succumbed to the disease. Her dad died when she was nine, and her mum followed him a year later.
Justice Edwin Cameron
- Year of birth: February 15, 1953
- Age: 69 years (as of 2022)
- Occupation: Former Supreme Court judge
Cameron was born in Pretoria, South Africa, on February 15, 1953. He was infected with the virus in the 1980s and became extremely ill while serving as a judge. At the time of his diagnosis and public acknowledgement, Cameron was one of the most prominent celebrities living with HIV in South Africa.
Since then, Edwin has been a prominent figure in the fight against HIV/AIDS for years.
- Year of birth: N/A
- Age: N/A
- Occupation: Hostler
Gary Allpass is one of the longest-surviving South African celebrities with HIV, having hit the 30-year mark in 2022. He was the subject of a highly publicized dismissal from his former workplace because of his HIV-positive status. He sued his then employer and won the case, receiving a year's wage worth of compensation.
Several Mzansi celebrities who are HIV positive have come out publicly about their status. These men and women have played a crucial role in the significant drop in the stigmatization of people living with the virus.
Briefly.co.za recently published an article about the top 15 celebrities who went broke. Being famous comes with its fair share of challenges and problems. For some high-profile people, their massive fortunes disappeared, leaving them completely penniless.
Issues such as fund mismanagement, drug use, poor investments, and loss of employment are among the most common reasons behind celebs going broke.
Source: Briefly News