As we commemorate World Aids Day today. We take a look at the celebs whose lives have been affected the disease.
SABC1’s Rise presenter, Phindile Sithole-Spong found out at 19 that she had full blown AIDS after suddenly falling ill. Manoeuvring through young adulthood at university was tricky she admits. “On my 22nd birthday, while driving home from dinner, my then boyfriend suddenly flipped and called me a murderer who was going to infect and kill him with my HIV. He kicked me out of the car and left me in the middle of nowhere,” she says. Now engaged to the love of her life, the 27 year old says the biggest scare about living with HIV is wondering how your body will handle growing old with HIV. “Chances of having cervical cancer are 50% more for HIV-positive women. I panic each time I get sick.” Despite that and a history of being sexually molested by her uncle in her childhood, Phindile maintains a positive attitude and plans on having children of her own in the future.
The singer, revealed to Drum magazine recently that his current album, Naninina has helped him heal from his tumulous past of drugs and losing his parents. He revealed to the magazine that when his mother passed he was often ashamed to divulge that she had indeed died of HIV. He says: “At some point I used to lie to people and say my mother died of cancer because I was afraid to say my mother had HIV,” he told the local publication. “I was too scared to say I once took drugs to numb pain.”
Sheen revealed last year he was HIV positive and had paid an amount totalling to millions of dollars to prevent the news from being leaked as he had been diagnosed four years prior to revealing his status. Speaking to NBC, the actor said one woman whom he had paid for sex had taken a photo of his HIV medication in his bathroom and said she would leak it to the press if he didn’t pay up.
Johnson is one of the first celebrities to disclose his HIV status to the world in 1991 after being diagnosed at 32. At 57 he’s been an example that it’s possible through correct medication to maintain a long-lasting healthy life with the disease.
Fana “DJ Khabzela” Khaba
In 2003 then, YFM DJ, Khabzela disclosed his HIV-positive status publicly on the station. A month before he died in 2004, he was given the National Builder’s Award in recognition of his contribution to the fight against HIV/Aids.