Late last week, the internet erupted with a rumor that Mia Khalifa, a former porn star and current No. 1 Washington Capitals fan—who gained notoriety in 2015 after she called out Drake for sliding into her DMs—had HIV. She doesn’t, and she’s a little annoyed that she had to take time out of her day to address some viral (sorry) gossip that originated months ago on a fake news site.
Khalifa told Total Frat Move on Thursday that she is not HIV positive, and she was surprised to find that even close friends thought the bogus rumor might be true. Here’s her statement on the subject:
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.
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.
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.
On Twitter that day, Khalifa was cracking jokes about the rumor, but some people didn’t get her subtle (it wasn’t very subtle) humor and continued to spread the fakes news based on her tweet:
The buzz about Khalifa and HIV seems to have started in January on a bogus news site called the No Chill, which wrote [sic] “The most famous movie star Mia Khalifa is recently diagnosed with HIV Positive Infection. As the girl was shooting with 2 other people, the industry remains in a fear of an outbreak … Mia is now under treatment along with her family and friends in Us. Lets hope the further results come out good for her.”
A Twitter search turned up a few people talking about Khalifa’s alleged diagnosis earlier this year, but it didn’t blow up until a week ago, when the U.S. porn industry temporarily shut down filming because an unnamed actor had possibly tested positive for HIV. The actor “had not worked on an adult set during the window of transmission, and had not participated in any fluid exchange shoots since their last negative test,” according to the Free Speech Coalition.
But people’s preconceptions about porn stars, combined with an actual news story about an HIV incident in the porn business, gave the Mia Khalifa rumor legs. The old hoax story about Khalifa resurfaced as curious people searched for the name of the actor who suffered the scare, but it wasn’t her. In fact, Khalifa retired from porn more than a year ago, after a brief—but successful—three-month career.
And it got so popular that it turned into a trending topic and a source of jokes on Black Twitter:
I'm up too early y'all saying Mia Khalifa can't ride dick and she's HIV positive I need to go back to bed pic.twitter.com/yWGdvyeFp2
— little bill. (@liddojill) April 20, 2017
"Mia khalifa got hiv bro. If you beat off to her you got hiv by association" https://t.co/xTdzhBquLG
— 12Years A Side Nigga (@keemiemillz) April 20, 2017
She may have a lot of gullible haters and a problem with fake news, but she doesn’t have HIV.