Was appointed as the official 2008 ambassador for the MTV "Staying Alive", the foundation works to empower young people to protect them against AIDS, Kelly Rowland is quick to give her new duty a kick off. The R&B singer makes use her star-power for good, took a public stand and had herself underwent an HIV and AIDS test in Africa last week.
Rowland arrived Thursday, June 19 at the Kenyatta Hospital in downtown Nairobi, Kenya, to get tested for the illness, which is rife in the Kenyan capital, in a bid to raise awareness of the deadly diseases among the country's young people particularly, and in an attempt to dissolve the stigma surrounding the illnesses specifically. She took the test alongside 22-year-old Kenyan John Ngugi, who admitted to be feeling grateful for having the test alongside the famous figure.
"For me, knowing your status is glamorous because then you get to carry that with you and you get to protect yourself," the former Destiny's Child member told CNN reporters. She continued saying, "You could take a situation like having HIV and think of it as having a disability and think of it as something that is going to bring you down. But I have met kids and young people that are just so inspiring. They inspire me."
In Kenya, as in many parts of Africa, people are often afraid to take an HIV test for fear of being stigmatized. Antiretroviral drugs are free for HIV-positive people in Kenya, but many people would rather not know whether they are HIV positive for fear of facing discrimination in the workplace and in the community. That's why Rowland wants to use her voice to encourage people to not have fear of getting tested.