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Fame and HIV: 21 of History's Biggest HIV-Positive Celebrities

November 17, 2015


Fela Kuti

Fela Kuti

Fela Kuti, also known as Fela Anikulapo Kuti or simply Fela, was and remains an international icon: a highly political Nigerian musician, activist, and pioneer of the influential Afrobeat music genre. After his death in August 1997, it was his brother, a former minister of health in Nigeria, who announced that Fela had died of Kaposi's sarcoma due to advanced HIV.

Many in his home country have called the revelation of Fela's HIV status Nigeria's "Magic moment" -- referring to the impact of Magic Johnson's coming out on the conversation about HIV/AIDS in the US and the world. However, despite Fela's coming from a well-connected family with several close relatives in the medical field, the resources and medical advances that have kept Magic alive and thriving were not readily available to him in Nigeria at the time of his death.

Copyright © 2015 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

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