Former porn star Mia Khalifa sent Twitter into a frenzy after she claimed that she may be HIV positive. On 20 April, the Lebanese-American webcam model posted a message stating, "I'm not sure, I'm HIV positive", which went viral on the social media platform.
However, the 24-year-old clarified later that her previous tweet was a joke and was in response to a fake report that had claimed that the she was HIV positive.
She posted a message [along with a link to a statement] and said, "First and the only official statement I'll make regarding this ridiculous rumour. Thank you, @totalfratmove."
The statement read, "The site that posted this incredibly fake 'interview' with me is less credible than those ads on porn sites for hot girls in your area who are dying to meet you. I'm not sure what they have to gain from this bullshit other than publicity, but they definitely got that. I wasn't even going to make a statement acknowledging this trash, but because it has gotten so much exposure, it feels necessary."
She also spoke about not letting such rumours get to her: "I don't usually let mean-spirited things about me on the internet get under my skin. That's a skill I've had to develop over time. But I'd be lying if I said this didn't hurt me. It has gotten to the point where people who are actually close to me started texting and asking if this shit was true – and that's what hurts the most. I've gotten used to being bashed, but a person can only take so much."
Clarifying that she is not HIV positive, the former porn star added, "In case it isn't clear already: no, I am not HIV positive. I get laid way less often than you'd think. The closest thing to intimacy in my life right now is when my roommate is washing her sheets and sleeps in my bed with me."
Rumours of her being HIV positive started after she used photos of an episode of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia where Danny DeVito claimed he has Aids to skip the line at a water park. Khalifa wrote: "Jokes on y'all, this is gonna be me next time the beer line is too long at a hockey game."
But, the joke did not go down well as users were quick to point out that, "Lying about a terminal illness to cut a line. Are you sure you want that kind of karma?"
Replying to the remark, Khalifa wrote, "I'm not just sure. I'm HIV positive".
She then sent out a string of tweets joking about the issue, along with the hashtag #standwithMia. She wrote, "Y'all are making me trend worldwide... for free... Here's a link to my store, we ship internationally." In another tweet, she said, "My store hit a record number of sales today, can I contract Ebola tomorrow? #MiaHasEbola #PrayForMia".
Addressing another user, Khalifa wrote, "Dude, lay off me. I just got diagnosed with a terminal illness today via the internet. Jeez. Some people." Lashing out at another person, who called her "tasteless" on the microblogging site, she wrote, "Yeah... I'm tasteless for having a sense of humor while getting berated with wishes of a fast HIV fueled death all day. Sure, @MaximMag".