At 19, Phindile Sithole-Spong discovered she was born HIV/AIDS positive after beginning to exhibit advanced symptoms of the virus. Now, 25, it’s been 6 years since she found out she was positive. Being HIV positive didn’t stop Sithole-Spong, she became motivated to campaign to eradicate taboos associated with HIV/AIDS. She is a woman that leads by example, and was featured in TIME magazine as one of the “Next Generation Leaders.”
She is one of the amazing, empowering QUEENS we’re honored to be featuring at our Ribbon Rouge 2015 Gala. She has done a lot of work in her community, empowering women and others to live healthy, normal lives. HIV/AIDS didn’t ruin her life, and it doesn’t have to ruin anyone else’s. She fights against the stigma that HIV/AIDS positive individuals are sickly and are unable to live a full, healthy, and normal life.
What a Queen. She lives a full life, and inspires others along the way. Living with AIDS/HIV is a journey, but it doesn’t have to be a negative one.
In keeping with her campaign, she’s transparent and open about her life. Sithole-Spong is not afraid to share her experiences with romantic relationships, medical appointments, and friendships. Her story is an example of a strong woman leading the way for others like her with the virus, breaking away from the stigma.
Her campaign has brought her national and international attention. Sithole-Spong’s fights against shaming and looking down on people living with HIV. She argues people cannot be free of the virus until they can openly talk about it. In creating conversations around HIV/AIDS, there can be a reduction in new HIV contractions, and there has to be a reduction in stigma so that people will not try to hide it. People will take protective measures for themselves and others.
To celebrate Sithole-Spong speak, among many other empowering women, snag your tickets to Ribbon Rouge 2015 today!