EXPIRED: 10/12/11 – Winstone Zulu, 47, was diagnosed with HIV in 1990 and, knowing how the community treated locals with HIV, decided to meet it head on. So facing an announcement that would undoubtedly make him an outcast in his country, he became an HIV activist, the first in Zambia.
Unfortunately, Zulu had setbacks. He waited till about 1996 to take an antiretroviral treatment and contracted tuberculosis a year later, as well as polio. But the TB treatment was effective and he later strived to get other HIV activists and health care providers to champion the need to address the correlation between HIV & TB.
Zulu then met his biggest challenge. He started to believe that perhaps HIV did not cause AIDS to begin with. So in 2000 he stopped taking HIV medication altogether. That last two years. When a sharp decline in his CD4 cell count left him once again seriously ill, Zulu went back for treatment.
In 2004, Nelson Mandela praised Zulu as a pioneer of TB activism at the 2004 World AIDS Conference. In 2006 he was awarded the Stop TB Partnership Kochon prize. But his biggest award was the pride he had in knowing he created a vital link between HIV and TB activists, which in turned continues to help save many lives in Africa.