Even though a lot of sensitization about how HIV is spread has been done since it was first reported in Uganda, there is still so much stigma that surrounds the virus, making it hard for a lot of people to openly reveal their status.
Despite that challenge, some people have been bold enough to disclose their HIV status and along with living positively, they have also been actively championing for the end of stigma as well as promoting its prevention.
We have identified a few celebrities who are living positively and educating the world about HIV, Uganda is proud of them.
Edwin Katamba, a.k.a MC Kats, is one of the most revered emcees in Kampala right now, and if you love the TV then you might have caught him on NBS TV where he hosts a show called the NBS after5.
A few years ago, MC Kats shocked the entertainment industry when he unexpectedly announced that he was HIV positive.
The entertainer who has been living positively for years now said that the stigma he had faced had driven him to depression and at some point, he even contemplated suicide.
Since revealing his status, MC Kats has been on a mission to create awareness about HIV/AIDS and end the stigmatization associated with it.
Recently, MC Kats who has been campaigning for Ending Aids by 2030 was appointed as the ambassador of the Uganda AIDS Commission (UAC.)
Moses Nsumbunga, a.k.a Supercharger is a name that needs no introduction. He is a well-known musician, TV and radio host, as well as a very vocal champion for HIV/AIDS awareness.
Supercharger has been living positively since 1994 and he has never shied away from speaking freely about his status.
As part of his advocacy goal, he runs a program called the ‘Moses’ Fellowship Advocacy’ which aims at promoting awareness about HIV drugs’ resistance and creating a solution for people who are resistant to ARVs.
Currently, he chairs the Joint Clinical Research Centre’s Community Advisory Board as well as the Community Advisory Board, which are working towards getting the cure for HIV.
Matovu Joy Aloysious
Aloysious is one of the people who prove that being HIV positive is not the end of the world, he has been living positively for more than 30 years now.
The 62-year-old teacher, actor, singer, businessman, counselor, and politician was diagnosed with HIV while living in London where he was a teacher.
His initial reaction to the news was shock and he was scared of returning to Uganda because he didn’t know how to break his news to his loved ones, given the stigma that was awarded to people living with HIV at the time.
He however soon came to terms with his status which has been key in helping him live for a long time with the virus.
Matovu has been advocating for HIV prevention for a long time now. Soon after accepting his status, he founded Alina Talents which has been sensitizing young people on the need to practice safe sex, get circumcised, and use ARV drugs properly to manage the spread of HIV through entertainment.
Through Alina Talents, he has been able to reach young people in over 50 schools and he keeps moving forward.
Sharifa Nalugo is a prominent advocate for people living with HIV/AIDS. Through arts, she educates young people about HIV prevention and how to cope with the stigma that comes with being positive.
The 25-year-old was born positive and she has often described how together with her mother, she was chased away from home after they were diagnosed with the virus.
Shaarifa who was crowned as Miss Young Positives in 2014 for her work as a role model for young people living with HIV was also awarded with FIERCE award in 2021 which recognizes people’s efforts in the fight against HIV.
Jacquelyne Alesi has been at the forefront of the fight for awareness about HIV and AIDS and is one of the biggest names in the cycle of HIV advocates in Uganda.
She has previously served as executive director for Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV/ AIDS, and Uganda Network for Young People Living With Aids. She is also the former Senior Program Manager for Children’s AIDS Fund Uganda – CAFU.
Although she stepped down from the national positions, Jacquelyne currently runs her own foundation called The Jacquelyne Ssozi Foundation which works with young women and people with disabilities who are HIV positive, with an aim of improving their lives.
Which other positive champ did we leave out of our list today? Let us know in the comments.