Choma Queens: HIV Activists
HIV is a virus that could infect and affect anyone. In South Africa especially, we have a lot of young people who are either living with HIV or who are at risk of contracting HIV. This is why it’s so important to talk about HIV and to end HIV stigma - so that more people can get the treatment they need and less people can be infected by it. There are also many people out there using their voices to try and bring an end to HIV and HIV stigma - here are a few queens who are amazing HIV activists.
Mbali Peaceful Kgomo
Mbali Peaceful Kgomo is an amazing young woman who is making changes in her community with a foundation she started to help improve the lives of people living with HIV. She’s also living with HIV but has never let that stop her from achieving what she wants to.
Quote: “People need to understand that just because you’re positive it doesn’t mean you are sick, it’s just a virus living inside your blood”
Lebogang Brenda Motsumi
Lebogang Brenda Motsumi is an aspiring social entrepreneur and social worker living with HIV. She’s also an HIV activist, HIV coach, UNFPA-YAP(Youth Advisory Panel) and ZAZI Ambassador and motivational speaker. She is an inspiration!
Quote: “I realised that I can turn my mess into a message, and use my pain to empower other people. I have been able to travel around Africa and the US just to share my story, and help influence policy makers in discussions they make towards HIV prevention”
Saidy Brown was born with HIV and only found out when she was 14. She uses her story to inspire others and to help end HIV stigma.
Quote: “I like sparking conversations about HIV. I don't believe in treating it like it's an unspoken subject. I want us to talk about it, because once we talk about it more, then we can de-stigmatise it.”
Charlize Theron is passionate about contributing to the fight against HIV and AIDS and empowering young women. She founded the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project; which supports Choma Magazine, to help young people with the tools and skills they need to protect themselves against HIV and live healthy, productive lives.
Quote: “If we are going to end AIDS, we must cure the disease in our hearts and minds first. And I believe young people are the ones to do it. Young people have always been drivers of social change. And this generation holds unique promise”
These queens use their influence and their social media following to spread positive messages about living with HIV and fighting stigma. You can also lend your voice Choma, by making a noise about ending HIV stigma and sharing your post on social media. Make a noise here.
Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).
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