When singer Koyo Bala (32) left Cape Town in 1998 to further his studies in the city of lights, he went in search of fortune. Little did he know that he would find fame through the popular gay group 3Sum, but today he admits that it has come at a high price. After much speculation about the state of his health, today he opens up to DRUM and puts the rumours to rest.
Koyo is HIV-positive and instead of treating it like a death sentence, he has opened a new chapter of his life and is living fabulously and positively.
“I am HIV-positive and as a celebrity and someone who is openly gay it is important to come out,” he says.
“I want to use my bubbly personality to help those struggling to come to terms with their status and instill a sense of hope.”
Koyo has been living with HIV for over a year – he found out about it on 7 July last year. “When I found out, my world felt like it was coming to an end. Thoughts of death started racing through my mind. I felt like I was staring death in the face and pictured friends who had died of Aids,” Koyo recalls.
He remembers the events of that day as if it were yesterday. “It was just a normal day but I felt that I owed it to myself to go find out about my status.” After all, he had worked as an HIV/Aids volunteer and part of his responsibility was testing on an annual basis.
“I went to the clinic in Yeoville, went through counselling and had a blood test done. I was confident my results
would come back negative.
Read more about experience after being diagnosed with HIV in Drum, 1 December 2011