Updated: New Ambassador Kelly Rowland Begins Her Duties (Photos)

In April Singersroom reported that R&B songstress Kelly Rowland was appointed the official 2008 Ambassador for the MTV ‘Staying Alive’ Foundation, which works to empower young people to protect them against AIDS. Now the former Destiny’s Child it girl is using her beautiful smile and charisma to take on the plague of AIDS. Rowland arrived Thursday at the Kenyatta Hospital in downtown Nairobi, Kenya, to take a public stand against stigma and undergo an HIV test. “For me, knowing your status is glamorous because then you get to carry that with you and you get to protect yourself,” she tells CNN reporters. Rowland and 22-year-old Kenyan John Ngugi took the test together in a tiny counseling room at the testing center at this public hospital. He also wanted to know his status, but he couldn’t suppress a large grin at times sitting next to such star power. “As a young person from Mathare slum and having a superstar to actually have a test with,” said Ngugi, “It is just a big promise for me and a big promise for my community and I am just grateful for the test.” Like much of Africa, Kenya struggles with the AIDS pandemic. UNAIDS, the joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, estimates that more than 22 million adults and children are living with HIV on the continent. “You could take a situation like having HIV and think of it as having a disability and think of it as something that is going to bring you down,” said Rowland, “but I have met kids and young people that are just so inspiring. They inspire me.” Click on the photos below to preview Kelly’s visit.


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