June 15, 2009
HIV-Positive South African Activist and Radio Personality Dies
Thembi Ngubane, a South African health activist who spoke openly about her battle with HIV/AIDS through her radio diary, died last week from drug-resistant tuberculosis, The Washington Post reports. According to the article, nearly one third of young women in South Africa are living with the virus.
Ngubane has chronicled her life since she was 19 years old, using a tape recorder. The tapes aired in April 2006 on U.S. National Radio on her 21st birthday. Ngubane later toured the United States, where she shared her story with former President Bill Clinton as well as students, lawmakers, doctors and celebrities.
Her radio diary has also aired in Britain, Australia and Canada, reaching an audience of more than 50 million people.
“Our parents struggled against the apartheid; they wanted to be free. And it is the same with HIV/AIDS. This is the new struggle,” Ngubane said. “Finding the courage to speak out in South Africa is the most important thing I have done.”
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