The newly crowned Miss Congo UK, Horcelie Sinda Wa Mbongo, is truly an amazing human being. She is beautiful, intelligent, eloquent and has a positivity that will inspire you. Horcelie was born with HIV in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and she didn’t learn of her status until age 11 after coming to the UK, when she and her mother got tested together.
"I don't think there's anyone to blame," she told BBC in response to questions about being born with the disease. "I wasn't there to blame anyone's actions. That's the way life goes — even with things happening in the world today. Who do you blame? Who is the cause of many things?” Horcelie continues, “It goes the same with our personal lives. It's about taking courage… it's part of my life and it's time to take up the cross instead of wasting time blaming.”
And unfortunately, Horcelie’s story is not unique. The Democratic Republic of Congo has approximately 370,000 people living with HIV, with 11 percent being children under that age of 14, according to UNAIDS. Horcelie intends to use her new platform to educate people about HIV, and to help those living with the condition. She hopes her story will inspire people like her, and help continue to destroy the stigma of the condition.