Gena Tew Posts Old Pics With Celebs to Prove AIDS Story Isn’t For Attention
Instagram model Gna Tio has shared a series of throwback photos of herself hanging out with celebrities to prove she’s not using her ongoing battle with AIDS to gain social media attention.
The 27-year-old, who has more than 50,000 followers on Instagram and another 480,000 on TikTok, has documented her health struggles in a series of social media videos since going public with her illness in March.
In one of the clips, shared on June 11, social media star Teo showed himself struggling to get out of bed as his weight loss plummeted and muscle atrophy weakened his legs.
This heartbreaking clip has been viewed more than 12 million times.
But as Teo continues to spread AIDS awareness to a rapidly growing audience, he has faced criticism from detractors, some of whom have accused him of using his health problems to bolster his online profile.
Responding to the allegations, Teo took to the video sharing platform on Thursday and posted a clip with the caption: “People keep saying they are influencers but I used to do music but I used to do music/modelling. [before] I got sick.”
He then proceeded to share photos of himself modeling and posing with a number of celebrities who appear to be Nick Cannon, Taryn Manning, Trey Songz, Dave East, Davido, Jeffree Star and Diplo.
Also included in his video montage was a screenshot that was previously posted on Chris Brown’s Instagram account.
In the video’s full description at the top of this article, Theo writes: “How crazy it got. [this] I match you??? [I’m] Only human… AIDS didn’t make me famous.”
In recent months, Teo has shared plenty of videos from her health journey, including visits to doctors and posts from her home, where she revealed she’s lost sight in one eye and has dropped to 65 pounds.
Thanks to advanced treatments, Theo has shared videos of his weight gain as he recovers from his worst health battle.
Last month, Teo answered a question about how he contracted AIDS, explaining in a video: “I don’t know who gave it to me or where I got it, how I got it. All I know is because I was very sick. The point of death, they said I should have it for eight to 10 years.
And during that time, I was living in New York City and I was homeless. I was raped a few times – something I don’t like to talk about. I do not know.
“Do I know those people? No. Did I say anything when those things happened? No. Because I was naive and stupid and young.”
On March 23, Tio revealed his diagnosis in a TikTok video after receiving questions about his previous stint in the hospital.
“I think it’s time to get it off my chest to feel better, the truth about why I’ve been in the hospital,” she said in the clip. “Unfortunately, your daughter has AIDS. And for anyone who says a pill should take care of everything, it’s not. I’ve been through hell and I’m still going through hell.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, “is a chronic and potentially life-threatening disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). By damaging your immune system, your body’s ability to fight It disrupts infection and disease.
HIV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can also be spread through contact with contaminated blood and illegal injection drug use or sharing needles. It can also spread from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. Without medication, it can take years for HIV to weaken your immune system to the point where you develop 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 reduced AIDS-related deaths worldwide, even in poor countries,” says the Mayo Clinic. Thanks to these lifesaving treatments, most people living with HIV in the United States today do not develop AIDS. “Untreated HIV usually turns into AIDS within 8 to 10 years.”