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Bisi Alimi, a Nigerian gay rights activist and HIV/LGBT champion who rose to international prominence after becoming the first Nigerian to come out on television, has spoken out about his battle with the Human Immune Virus (HIV).

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The outspoken campaigner stated that he had been battling HIV and that his best buddy died of AIDS at the age of 26.

Alimi published his ‘HIV and Me’ tale on his Instagram page.

“EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO, AT THE NATIONAL AIDS CONFERENCE IN ABUJA, I WALKED INTO A TESTING BOOTH FOR THE FIRST TIME, WITH NUDGING FROM FRIENDS.” I LEFT WITH AN HIV POSITIVE TEST RESULT IN MY HAND. I HAD JUST LOST MY BEST FRIEND TO AIDS TWO YEARS BEFORE THAT, AND HE WAS AROUND 26 YEARS OLD.
I’VE HAD HIV SINCE I WAS 29 YEARS OLD, AND THIS YEAR I’M 47 YEARS OLD. I KEPT QUIET ABOUT MY HIV STATUS FROM 2004 TO 2009 DUE TO SHAME AND STIGMA.
THEN I REALIZED THAT HIV DOESN’T KILL PEOPLE; STIGMA, SHAME, AND DISCRIMINATION DO.
CHEERS TO 18 YEARS OF HAPPINESS AND MANY MORE TO COME. GET TESTED RIGHT NOW.”

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