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onstration of the fact that one can be HIV positive and can still go on to live for years looking beautiful and healthy. She is often invited to speak at corporate events and oth- er platforms where she shares her story and encourages people to go and get tested for HIV and not live in denial.

“I have said many times that be- ing HIV positive does not make me any different from someone with cancer or diabetes. It is a condition that can be managed. Those of us who are infected should not be hid- den away and not talked about be- cause as human beings we all have something to offer. Our communi- ties should not ridicule us either. HIV knows no social status. It can affect anyone.

“I visited the Netherlands a year or two ago and I was completely taken aback by the ignorance that exists even in developed countries such as that. I visited a small town there where HIV is not even spoken about. People are dying silently and alone, which is not how it should

“...HIV knows no social status. It can affect anyone.”

be. For many, HIV is still viewed as the ultimate death sentence which it is not. I really want to go out into remote and isolated areas, not only

not deny yourselves your own lives...”

in South Africa, or within the con- tinent of Africa, but also interna- tionally and talk to everyone I meet about living positively with HIV,” said Tender.

And her message to Inspirational Woman Magazine readers?

“My message to all the special la- dies around the world is please do not be afraid. Get yourselves test- ed if you have not done so already. Do not deny yourselves your own lives. I wish I had waited before I started engaging in adult activities. I was still a teenager and was not old enough to understand what I was doing. To those ladies who have teenage children, please re- mind them daily that they should not hurry into anything. They should ride the cloud of their teen- age years and enjoy being young. Adulthood is not really all that it is cut out to be. I swear that I would pay top dollar to be sweet 16 again, and I would be so greedy with what my mama gave me. No man would be able to touch me so easily,” said Tender.


What does Tender want to be re- membered for when she is no lon- ger on this earth?

“If people don’t remember my work as a musician and an HIV activist, they must just remember the lov- ing woman that I was. They must remember that I was a friend, a co- median, a lover, a great daughter, a diva”.

Tender’s definition of an Inspira- tional Woman?

“A woman who is selfless, no mat- ter what circumstances she finds herself in, and has the capacity to put others first before herself. I find these qualities in my mother and Oprah Winfrey. These women have endured pain and suffering, but they still managed to come out on the other end in one piece. They are my role models,” rounds off Tender.

I am sure for many of Tender’s fan’s, myself included, Tender is in- deed one Inspirational Woman who is spreading one powerful mes- sage. Let’s go get tested ladies..... and lets spread the word and not the disease. ■

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