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I am HIV Positive, says Lesego Motsepe

Written by Tazteeq from the blog Opinion Ramp on 02 Dec 2011
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We all know and remember her from her artistic portrayal of Letti Matabane in Isidingo. Lesego is one of the celebs who gathered enough courage to come out to the public about her HIV Status, and she has revealed to have been living with HIV for 13 years during her interview with 702 Talk Radio. She was later during the day commended by the one of the Ministers for her bravery. 



She joins the ranks of Koyo Bala who publicly came out about his HIV status to Drum Magazine recently, sending tongues wagging wildly about his revelation. 



A few other celebs such as Chriselda Kananda have been living with the disease for years. 



The late SABC 1 Weather man Jabu Sithole also revealed his status shortly before he died and the late Zombo was also rumoured to have been living with this monster of a desease. 



As part of World Aids day yesterday, SowetanLive reports after speaking to one of the infected, an HIV Medical Doctor Tshepo Maponyane who revealed that the future looks bleak for South Africa, especially with the latest infection statistics. Tshepo further said that about 80 years from now, people will be laughed at for being HIV Negative. In other words, people will all want to update their HIV statuses to Positive, just like a facebook status, you will want to update it and get people to “like” it and comment! I personally find what this Dr said very stupid though...i still believe in a HIV-Free generation.



Do you think celebs coming out about their HIV statuses helps ordinary South Africans or its some form of attention seeking syndrome and its just a way to suck all those sorry phrases from the public?


57 Comments

Mokema
02 Dec 2011 11:29

I think if u make peace with urself its only right to tell others, even though we know black people have problems.

It was big of them

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tzhavile
02 Dec 2011 11:44

itjoooooooooooo

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qaqamba
02 Dec 2011 11:55

yoooo other people are brave mannnn, WELL DONE PPL.

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Tazteeq
02 Dec 2011 11:56

eish, my pic uploader aint working with me now...will try to put pics to this once it get back from a holiday!

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Snuca Babe
02 Dec 2011 11:59

wow andiyikholelwa ke le??? * SHOCKED*

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makisto
02 Dec 2011 12:06

Wow, great article skeem saam. You did well. I do not see as an attention seeking syndrome. It is brave of them to tell teh public because an ordinary citizen will feel inspired. They are under no pressure to go public about the HIV status hence Lesego took a good 13 years to do so. I commend her. She is brave and I salute her.

She is inspiring others living with the virus and showing that you can still live your live bigger while having this virus. I believe it's inpirational and I cannot commend her enough.

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babye2
02 Dec 2011 12:35

oh my GOD,

thats why the article in Just Curious about Somizi pissed me off....

it must have been really hard for Lesego especially for her career. will she be able to get roles that will let her kiss because of her status?

pretty scary ...

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dajazzy
02 Dec 2011 12:50

Babye2, why wouldnt she get roles that will let her kiss. Please educate yourself about the virus before making silly comments. Google is your friend, use it.

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Khodo
02 Dec 2011 13:05

Is it really brave or some some of last attempt to remain relevant. If she has been living with the virus for 13 years y did she not come out when she was still in a leading role in Isidingo. It would have made much sense back then bcoz everybody knew her but now she feels that she is being forgotten she makes a come back - HIV+

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zandilez
02 Dec 2011 13:27

@dajazzy

Google is your friend, use it.


alughing for dayzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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babye2
02 Dec 2011 13:54

@ dajazzy

i am so aware of HIV/AIDS etc. i know that you cannot get hiv from sharing stuff with your friends etc BUT my question was even in the era where we all know about the methods of HIV transmission some may feel uncomfortable kissing her on the screen thus some may prefer not to kiss her on the roles. would she be getting those roles?

you can get HIV through kissing if both of you have cuts in your mouth. have you googled that?

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qaqamba
02 Dec 2011 14:03

@Khondo ,, sana u make me think otherwise, yazi???? but she is the one who left Isiding she was not fired,now ppl dont recognise her, she is coming out ???? by telling us abt her HIV status??????? do u thnk so??????? QUESTION MY LOVE!!

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Tazteeq
02 Dec 2011 14:11

@Khodo, dont you think you are being a little harsh on the woman though? Anyway, we all see things differently....i think she did a good thing, and i doubt she had those intentions...

@dajazzy and babye2, i just dont know how to solve yours....

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babye2
02 Dec 2011 14:12

and the thing is ever since she left insidingo she has not had a major role

maybe they were aware of her status and thought otherwise......

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princess1
02 Dec 2011 14:13

Hawu Khodo, have you thought gore maybe she was not ready to reveal her status ka nako e a neng a le ko Isidingo?

I think it is a brave thing to do, no one suspected that she is positive unlike Koyo.

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Khodo
02 Dec 2011 14:17

@qaqamba - she did not leave she was fired and there was a post here on the 28th November 2008 about how tragic she felt about the end of her character

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caro
02 Dec 2011 14:29

sho!!!!!! some people can be so negative, not everyone is comfortable looking to be relevant by making people all over the world feel sorry for them,and even make silly comments about them. 

so i dont think she can js open up to millions of people that  she is carrying the killer desease js so she can be a household name(she 's way passed that a long tym ago) or because she feels she is forgotten. it must hv been a burden for  her and her family. lets jus be supportive coz even if we r not INFECTED WE ARE AFFECTED!!!!!!!!! 

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babye2
02 Dec 2011 14:32

if fired then all my questions are answered.

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makisto
02 Dec 2011 14:33

Hawu Khodo, have you thought gore maybe she was not ready to reveal her status ka nako e a neng a le ko Isidingo?

My question exactly. Even if she has relevance issues, what is it to this Khodo character? 

Anyone who uses the media to build their career, is newsworthy and their HIV status is a matter of national importance. 

Any good editor of any publication will never dare ask about relevance issues because theywill undoubtedly sell their paper. Also, a journalist can never, under any circumstances, ask such a question Khodo is asking. It is against journalistic principles, codes and ethics. One of the few things Khodo should learn is that when working on such stories, journalism principles say: "Minimise harm".

It is none of anyone's business when any given HIV positive person decides to go public. They can only do that when they are ready and at their own risk, if any. So please, such insensitivity is childish and ridiculous to say the least.

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makisto
02 Dec 2011 14:34

lets jus be supportive coz even if we r not INFECTED WE ARE AFFECTED!!!!!!!!! 
Very well put Caro, thank you!!!!!!!

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Green.arrow
02 Dec 2011 14:37

That Dr is crazy. Is it perhaps the Dr who has been all over because the wife infected him? Sounds bitter to me, with good reason, but when u are bitter you shouldn't be allowed to make comments about matters on a public platform.

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makisto
02 Dec 2011 14:39

maybe they were aware of her status and thought otherwise......
Nawe you are being very naive and stupid here. I cannot believe there are still people who are not familiar with work place regulations. Bandla, ignorance isn't bliss. I am shocked by how clumsy people choose to be yazi. No employer does that espesh Isidingo which had a major drive on the pandemic.

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Tazteeq
02 Dec 2011 14:42

That Dr is crazy. Is it perhaps the Dr who has been all over because the wife infected him? 

@GA, yes its the same oke...he is very bitter, thats what i also thought! he should be imprisoned for uttering such remarks, especially in a time where everyone is up on their toes trying to combat HIV!

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The General
02 Dec 2011 14:43

I don't think she would use her status to stay relevant. If you think about it it might even destroy her career, cause let's face it, people still see HIV as a bad thing to have. Must say she is VERY BRAVE

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Mathaz
02 Dec 2011 14:49

I applaud her bravery and courage.  Coming out is not easy.

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nketshi
02 Dec 2011 14:50

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babye2
02 Dec 2011 14:50

@ Makisto - thats reality 

we have cases of where employees were dismissed from work because of the HIV status, some included helpers who were dismissed from work because of their status.

you are also being harsh because reality it is only now that employers have accepted employees HIV status in work places back then 1998 - 2004 employers were very harsh. there are still some employers who request for a full screen before employing.

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babye2
02 Dec 2011 15:01

i lost a friend when i was 14 years who was HIV positive and 1998

she was very beautiful but had lived her life and enjoyd it. when she was found out that she was positive she told her aunt who chased her out of the house. she only lived for a year and died. i have friends who are positive. my little cousin was born with the disease but her father didnt make it. died in 2002. she has been on ARV since she was born. she is now on her teens and its really difficult for her to date etc because of her status. some parents didnt want her to play with their kids but she was very brave to understand their reasons. she still finds it hard because she wanted to go to a boarding school but has to be monitored by someone who is close to her and understand her. 

teachers who are supposed to take care of her sometimes make it very difficult for her.

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qaqamba
02 Dec 2011 15:11

@Khondo,, thank sana.

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makisto
02 Dec 2011 15:12

we have cases of where employees were dismissed from work because of the HIV status, some included helpers who were dismissed from work because of their status.
Then babye, you should have given context to your opinion. You cannot just assume everyone knows what you know. First enlighten people and make your point. That way, your meaning will not be lost. 

Thanks for sharing  the info about the harsh reality that is there in the work place. It's just that I work in a sort of liberated field where such doesn't happen.

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Tazteeq
02 Dec 2011 15:16

we have cases of where employees were dismissed from work because of the HIV status, some included helpers who were dismissed from work because of their status. 

isnt this against the law? I'm not so clued up about South African law but i'm sure there's a law that goes against this!

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Mthizo
02 Dec 2011 15:24

Very sad indeed but couragious mostly to our generations who yet to be infected - for a public figure like Lesego to do that, it meant undivide support from the family and friends - one might be concerned and begin contemplating about how the public will be treating her after they have learned her status. 

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mbulela
02 Dec 2011 15:42

a HIV Medical Doctor Tshepo Maponyane who revealed that the future looks bleak for South Africa, especially with the latest infection statistics. Tshepo further said that about 80 years from now, people will be laughed at for being HIV Negative. In other words, people will all want to update their HIV statuses to Positive, just like a facebook status, you will want to update it and get people to “like” it and comment!

This man needs to have his medical license withdrawn for sputing so much rubbish at once.
The stupidity of that comment is mind boggling.

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myname
02 Dec 2011 15:45

Taz i don't care whether wenzela ini but she's still my girl whether positive or negative or neutral....

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mbulela
02 Dec 2011 15:51

Do you think celebs coming out about their HIV statuses helps ordinary South Africans or its some form of attention seeking syndrome and its just a way to suck all those sorry phrases from the public?
Most must be doing it for good reasons and are applauded. unfortunately some will be doing it for the wrong reasons but we will never know which is which. watch the next wave of reality tv shows ------- LIVING WITH THE VIRUS.
personally i do not think celebrities revealing their statuses makes any difference to the average south african. Almost all South Africans have made a decision about the virus at this stage.besides celebrity statuses only appeal to stigmatization and not prevention.
What will  help the average person in the street are revelations that appeal to prevention.Like, JZ shown with a condom in his wallet (you will never understand how much damage the shower incident caused the AIDS campaign) or paparrazi catching one of these celebrities buying condoms and a case of beer at the local BP garage. 
you get my point? actions and revelations that speak volumes about prevention and make it seem trendy to live safe lives. The revelations that impact on stigmatization will do us little good as a society.

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maddie
02 Dec 2011 15:58

isnt this against the law? I'm not so clued up about South African law but i'm sure there's a law that goes against this!

@tazteeq

employers r so smart they know that if they dismiss u based on ur status u'll win the case, so they'll find another reason to fire u and how r u goin 2 prove gore u were fired based on your + status 

Lettie is a public figure whether this was done 4 publicity which i doubt mina I dnt care this will giv some1 suffering frm the same thing hope ya gore he/she is not the only 1 even dicelebrities r nt immune 2 magama, that 4 me is commendable

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mbulela
02 Dec 2011 16:02

is it really brave or some some of last attempt to remain relevant. If she has been living with the virus for 13 years y did she not come out when she was still in a leading role in Isidingo. It would have made much sense back then bcoz everybody knew her but now she feels that she is being forgotten she makes a come back - HIV+
that sounds a bit mean. she should only come out when it suits her not when it suits you. infact there is a school of though that thinks people like her should not even come out as it is their personal business and a private matter.
it is not about when it makes sense,it is about when it suits her.

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Mthizo
02 Dec 2011 16:04

@Mbulela "Almost all South Africans have made a decision about the virus at this stage.besides celebrity statuses only appeal to stigmatization and not prevention"

What do you say about this young ones which are only growing up now, I mean we are looking for prevention going in the future and we can not dwell on the shower issue for all the generations to come- so I am still saying that "there is  a great deal of reaction by the kids on the street, for the mere fact that, this is not a taboo to be discussed or having celebrities being infected by the sickness. This will help them to relate and feel the precence of the experiance - so as becoming easy for them to reveal their statusses.

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babye2
02 Dec 2011 16:07

Point taken Makisto

there is a law as Mbulela says but they will still find a reason to fire you. would love to share some stories but have to work now....

chao take care all.

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mbulela
02 Dec 2011 16:32

What do you say about this young ones which are only growing up now, I mean we are looking for prevention going in the future and we can not dwell on the shower issue for all the generations to come- so I am still saying that "there is a great deal of reaction by the kids on the street, for the mere fact that, this is not a taboo to be discussed or having celebrities being infected by the sickness. This will help them to relate and feel the precence of the experiance - so as becoming easy for them to reveal their statusses.

i was actually referring to the adults in that part of my comment. for both children and adults my second point is more necessary. revelations that aid prevention more than stigmatization. i am not really a fan of destigmatization of HIV. i nthe sense that i am more interested in revelations that will aid prevention. Knowing that Lesego is + will help destigmatize the virus, i want revelations that will make prevention look trendy. that is what the young ones need more and that is where we are still lagging. Destigmatization will not help us reach the zero figures we are targetting, prevention will.

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Cnglemother
02 Dec 2011 17:29

babye i know exactly what u mean and u were being realistic.its just not easy to let yo guard down when there is an infected person in the house no matter how well informed u are.its got nothing with being educated or not its just human nature,trust me she will have a hard time getting people to agree to kiss her on set.i question her timing also not trying to be mean but iyandisolisa shem..

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Green.arrow
02 Dec 2011 18:11

We had an Hiv testing and counseling week at work. And its so so disheartening how out of a company of close to 1000 employees, there was such a poor turnout. Two guys I spoke to went on to say they don't wanna know. We've come a long way but we still have a long way to go sub saharan africa.

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babye2
02 Dec 2011 19:18

thanks cinglema thank you for understanding

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Aphrodisiac
02 Dec 2011 23:33

Wow, so she's been positive since she started on Isidingo?! She kept her secret well hidden

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Kandyfloss
03 Dec 2011 08:03

In his interview in jet magzn Jabu(gospel star&pastor) mentiond that hs sista died of AIDS. I culdn't pik why he had 2 b that specific.. There are some "born agains" who think hiv infection is for sinners and not for them. They dnt say it directly but they do it.

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tshetlha
03 Dec 2011 11:49

Nna this HIV thingy is scaring me...you now....these are truely brave...Batho Batsho are still full of issues regarding this issue...which is the reason why they question people who come out......What this Doctor is saying about HIV being a staus anyone would like to update....I dont find it h=funny at all...it is really stupid....We should atleast try to live an HIV free nation...I so wish they get a cure....the ARV's arent really good to other people you know....I wish GOd can help us all through this.....How many more people are going to come out...I'm really scared......HIV is really becoming like Flu:(

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La Dolce Vita
03 Dec 2011 20:40

Yoh Lesego can keep a secret neh! 13 years is a very long time seriously and I'm ashamed to sa it but when I saw he article I thought "But she doesn't look positive'' and in the same breath I thought what a stupid thing to think - no-one LOOKS positive! I commend her bravery because she didn't have to declare yet she chose to help educate us more about this disease. Thumbs up to her.

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Guava4
04 Dec 2011 09:25

We have a long way to go fighting hiv,lesego came out with her status because she was ready,you only disclouse ur status when ur ready and have accepted ur hiv status,we are all affected if not infected

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Vesa
05 Dec 2011 10:04

babye i know exactly what u mean and u were being realistic.its just not easy to let yo guard down when there is an infected person in the house no matter how well informed u are.its got nothing with being educated or not its just human nature,trust me she will have a hard time getting people to agree to kiss her on set.i question her timing also not trying to be mean but iyandisolisa shem..

Soo true babye & Cnglema. My cousin has recently been very ill and was hospitalised for 5 weeks. He hasn't disclosed anything to us, but all of us have already diagnosed him because of the symptoms. God knows I want to feel free around him etc.....but I'm too scared. Mind you I know all the transmission methods etc....but I'm still paranoid.

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Brown Eyes
05 Dec 2011 12:32

What symptoms are those Vesa ?....if you dont mind me asking

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Khodo
03 Feb 2012 14:10

REAL MAGAZINE - I'M HIV POSITIVE - UNEMPLOYED AND BROKE

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bezu
03 Feb 2012 15:30

I might just believe the DR,  remember in the old days being a virgin was something special and appreciated but now if you still a virgin ppl laugh at you and call you stupid and inexperienced!!! and I had of ppl getting infected with the virus just so that can get their ands on the grant money! so I might believe the Dr...think abt it guyz!!!!!!!!!

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maddie
03 Feb 2012 15:37

being hiv negative nowadays is boring, so many ppl r on arvs

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Tazteeq
03 Feb 2012 15:41

being hiv negative nowadays is boring, so many ppl r on arvs

hahahaha, really? LOL...This world is going nowhere FAST!

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VusiK
03 Feb 2012 17:00

Truth is ... Statistically, the probability that we are all HIV positive, or will be is 100%. There is no solution because we all live dangerously ... deliberately. Education is near nil on understanding the syndrome, poverty is greater for everyone, nutrition is a factor of poverty and education, and our relational behavior as people is appalling! Socially, we need to get to the point where we evaluate consequence before we engage actions .... with our society being animistic, that is a problem we cannot and probably will not ever be able to overcome .... How many of our sisters can walk up a street without being accosted for romance, regardless of the ring on her finger .... and my suspicion is that sisters have more affairs than us men ... and because they survive undiscovered for so long, we are open and vulnerable from these dalliances for as long as we meet people, and they meet people... I suggest people reduce their focus on the infected and affected, and concentrate on their individual behaviours and consider the tragedy that they do not account for their actions, the consequence of which is that when the thought of violating sensibilities exists "It's already too late". ...

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VusiK
03 Feb 2012 17:06

The last week or so ... one of the Buzz topics was "Would your relationship survive if your partner had your phone for a day" and "Would you leave your phone with your spouse for a day and would the relationship survive" ... All the women respondents responded "No, and No, and most definitely Not!" whereas more men than women said "Yes, and Yes" .... than the Nos. This does not paint a good picture of ourselves as a society because whenever we hear of people being irresponsible, the first topic is "HIV risk & infection",, yet in our daily lives, we engage in and are ABSOLUTELY PROUD or ourselves in opening ourselves to HIV risk ... be it the new guy, or the old flame, of the new woman, or the friend of a friend that just makes you get that jolt of electricity. The virus has no problem with us, its agenda is replication and survival, it is us who create the opportunity for it to affect us ................... and consequently everyone in our known Universe

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VusiK
03 Feb 2012 17:07

Change the individual, and all of society can change ....

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