Nkosi Johnson-(1989 â€" 2001)
Nkosi, born Xolani Nkosi, was born to Nonthlanthla Daphne Nkosi in a township east of Johannesburg in 1989. He never knew his father. Nkosi was HIV-positive from birth, and was legally adopted by Gail Johnson, a Johannesburg Public Relations practitioner, when his own mother, debilitated by the disease, was no longer able to care for him. The young Nkosi Johnson first came to public attention in 1997, when a primary school in the Johannesburg suburb of Melville refused to accept him as a pupil because of his HIV-positive status. The incident caused a furor at the highest political levelâ€"South Africaâ€™s Constitution forbids discrimination on the grounds of medical statusâ€"and the school later reversed its decision. Nkosi was the keynote speaker at the 13th International AIDS Conference, where he encouraged AIDS victims to be open about the disease and to seek equal treatment. Nkosi finished his speech with the words-"Care for us and accept us â€" we are all human beings. We are normal. We have hands. We have feet. We can walk, we can talk, we have needs just like everyone else â€" donâ€™t be afraid of us â€" we are all the same!"