Gena Tew has addressed questions about how many celebrities she may or may not have been intimate with over the years, as she continues to document her experience of living with AIDS.
The 27-year-old model, who has more than 500,000 followers on 480,000 on TikTok and a further 53,000 on Instagram, has been documenting her struggles in a series of videos on social media since going public with her diagnosis in March.
In one heart-wrenching clip, which was shared on June 11 and has been viewed more than 12 million times, social media star Tew showed herself struggling to get up from her bed as her weight plummeted and muscle atrophy weakened her legs.
With her audience growing by the day, Tew has faced a number of questions from her followers, with great interest being shown in the celebrities she has encountered.
This week, she took to TikTok to answer an inquiry from one follower, who asked whether she had been intimate with “a lot of celebrities.”
Tew opted to take an indirect approach to answering the question, sharing a seconds-long video of herself repeatedly asking, “Have you?” before laughing.
One follower reacted by writing that Tew’s video served as “a yes,” prompting her to state: “If you say so. I’m just letting people think what they want at this point.”
When another follower commented that Tew should just say yes, she has been intimate with several celebrities, she responded: “I’m about to say I met prince or Michel [sic] Jackson and see what social media comes up with.”
Last week, Tew addressed criticism from her detractors, some of whom accused her of using her health issues to boost her profile online.
Tew took to the platform to post a clip emblazoned with the words: “People keep saying clout but I’ve been doing music but I’ve been doing music/modeling [before] I’m sick.”
She then proceeded to share photos of herself modeling and posing with a host of celebrities that appeared to include Nick Cannon, Taryn Manning, Trey Songz, Dave East, Davido, Jeffree Star, and Diplo.
Also included in her video montage was a screenshot of her having previously been posted on Chris Brown’s Instagram account.
Captioning the video, which did not suggest sexual intimacy with any of the celebrities featured, Tew wrote: “How mad did [this] make you??? [I’m] just human…AIDS DIDN’T MAKE ME FAMOUS.”
In recent months, Tew has shared a slew of videos on her health journey, including visits to doctors and posts from her home, where she revealed that she had lost sight in one eye and that her weight had dipped to a low of 65 pounds.
Thanks to advanced treatments, Tew has shown videos of herself having gained weight as she recovers from the worst of her health battle.
Last month, Tew answered a question on how she acquired AIDS, explaining in a video: “I do not know who gave it to me or where I got it, how I got it. All I know is that because I was so sick to the point of death, they said I had to have it for eight to 10 years.
“And in that timeframe, I was living in New York City and I was homeless. I did get raped a couple times—not something I like to talk about. I have had a couple free tattoos so it could have been a dirty needle, I don’t know.
“Do I know those people? No. Did I say anything when those things happened? No. Because I was naive and I was stupid and I was young.”
According to Mayo Clinic, AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, “is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). By damaging your immune system, HIV interferes with your body’s ability to fight infection and disease.
“HIV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can also be spread by contact with blood and from illicit injection drug use or sharing needles. It can also be spread from infected mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. Without medication, it may take years before HIV weakens your immune system to the point that you have AIDS.”
While there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, medications can control the infection and greatly slow its progression.
“Access to better antiviral treatments has dramatically decreased deaths from AIDS worldwide, even in resource-poor countries,” Mayo Clinic states.
“Thanks to these life-saving treatments, most people with HIV in the US today don’t develop AIDS. Untreated, HIV typically turns into AIDS in about 8 to 10 years.”