Gay African author Binyavanga Wainaina comes out as HIV+

Binyavanga Wainaina

Binyavanga Wainaina

Acclaimed Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina, who made waves when he came out as gay in 2014, has revealed that he is HIV positive.

Affirming his position as an African role model, Wainaina announced his status on Twitter on 1 December, World Aids Day, writing: “i am HiV Positive, and happy.”

Speaking to Daily Nation, he confirmed: “What I said (in a tweet) is true. I’m HIV positive and happy! That is all I can say.”

He added: “Look out for an essay I’m writing in January.”

One of the continent’s leading literary figures, Wainaina came out as gay through a semi-biographical short piece, titled I Am a Homosexual, Mum, in January 2014.

In April of that year, he was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. He was included among the globe’s leading artists.

Wainaina was born in Nakuru, Kenya, and later studied commerce at the University of Transkei in South Africa. His first book, a memoir entitled One Day I Will Write About This Place, was published in 2011 and was selected by Oprah Winfrey for her coveted book club.

In 2002, he won the Caine Prize for his short story Discovering Home. He has written for National Geographic, The Sunday Times (South Africa), the New York Times, Chimurenga magazine and The Guardian (UK).


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