At only 21 years old, Saidy Brown a young activist from South Africa is inspiring thousands across social media by being courageous to speak boldly about HIV. Brown who disclosed her HIV status on Twitter, describes herself as an HIVictor on her Twitter bio.
Brown says her dream has always been to be able to communicate with people, so she still aspires to be a communicator. Brown loves writing and listening to music. She is currently reading Praise song by Jenny Robson and would love to travel to many other African countries. She draws inspiration from her my aunt and big sister.
Sharing her status on Twitter is something she has always wanted to do.
“I had some fears,” she says. “In hindsight, I am very glad I did.”
“My life has changed in a way that now a lot of people are very familiar with who I am,and about my story. I call myself an HIVictor because I am not a victim, I have defeated HIV,and I live to help other people feel the same way about themselves,” she adds.
Brown says she’s is saddened by how most people are scared of disclosing to people close to them and going on treatment. The 21 year-old believes stigma against people living with HIV should stop.
Saidy says families make it more difficult for people to disclose because of their known negative perceptions against HIV. For people with HIV she says anti-retro-vital treatment may have side effects like any other drugs, but patients should have to be strong as this often goes away.
“A few weeks is a small price to pay than actually getting sick,” she says.
Brown is saddened by the fact that most people still associate HIV with sexual intercourse.
“You tell a person that you are HIV positive and they wanna know how you got it, as if that is supposed to make a difference,” she says.
The young activist says she is not talking about HIV to get attention.
“I want us to talk about this virus, destigmatise it and rip it off it’s power,” she says.