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Former Zimbabwean Model Laments Stigma Following HIV Disclosure

In 2003, Tendayi Westerhof, then one of Zimbabwe’s best-known fashion models, published a book revealing that she had tested positive for HIV, and launched a nonprofit organization to encourage prominent individuals to set an example by being tested for HIV.

Westerhof hoped to inspire others to deal constructively with their HIV status, but lately she is expressing disillusionment, saying she has experienced the stigma of HIV firsthand and lost the support of many friends and family members who were once close to her.

Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe spoke with Westerhof about her struggle with HIV - and with the isolation it so often brings.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...