Gena Tew Says She Left Check-Up for AIDS-Related Blindness Over COVID Fears

Social media influencer Gena Tew has revealed that she recently left an eye check-up for her AIDS-related blindness over fears of contracting COVID-19.

The 27-year-old model, who has more than 650,000 followers on TikTok, has been documenting her health struggles in a series of social media posts since going public with her AIDS diagnosis in March.

In August, Tew revealed to her TikTok and Instagram followers that she had undergone eye surgery, after her illness caused significant sight loss.

Gena Tew's COVID fears amid AIDS battle
Gena Tew has revealed that she recently exited a doctor's office while waiting for a check-up regarding her AIDS-related blindness, amid fears she would contract COVID-19. Gena Tew/TikTok

Tew took to her TikTok account over the weekend to share that while she had made her way to the doctor's office for a check-up, the "coughing and hacking" of another patient led to her swift departure.

"I know I said would come back with an eye update today, but I actually just had to leave my eye doctor," she explained in a video filmed inside a vehicle. "Why, you may ask? Well, don't mind if I do.

"I was wearing my mask, but I'm sorry... if there's someone in there coughing and hacking up their lungs nonstop, I'm leaving. I got COVID last time. No! Unfortunately, I have to postpone my update."

Over Labor Day weekend, Tew explained to her followers that she was still experiencing blindness, some three weeks after her eye operation.

She said: "Those of you who are asking me about an update of my eye, I went to the doctor the other day and he said that I need to wait a month for progress.

"So they put a gas bubble in my eye. So that's what making it completely blind—like completely. But I've got to wait a month to see some progress and it's really scary. Really scary. But I just wanted to update you guys."

Following her surgery, Tew said in August that she was "blind in my left eye, like completely. So I just had surgery to get the blood sucked out of it."

Tew added that she will be "taking this new prescription they're giving me for my eyes. It should get better and progress, because it's still healing. It's still really, really sore."

On one of her posts, Tew had used the hashtag "#CMV," in apparent reference to cytomegalovirus retinitis, which is known to be an ocular complication for people living with AIDS.

In recent months, Tew has shared a slew of videos on her health journey, including visits to doctors and posts from her home, where she revealed that she had lost sight in one eye and that her weight had dipped to a low of 65 pounds.

Tew recently revealed that her weight was up to 95 pounds.

Gena Tew confirms she's not in hospice
Social media influencer Gena Tew last month confirmed that she is not in hospice care amid questions over her health, as she documents living with AIDS. Gena Tew/Instagram

In one video clip, which was shared on June 11 and has been viewed more than 12 million times, the social media star showed herself struggling to get up from her bed as her weight plummeted and muscle atrophy weakened her legs.

While Tew remains unable to walk, she shared an update with her TikTok followers on Monday, showing herself briefly standing up with the aid of a walker.

Thanks to advanced treatments, Tew has shown videos of herself having gained weight as she recovers from the worst of her health battle.

According to Mayo Clinic, AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, "is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). By damaging your immune system, HIV interferes with your body's ability to fight infection and disease.

"HIV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can also be spread by contact with infected blood and from illicit injection drug use or sharing needles. It can also be spread from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. Without medication, it may take years before HIV weakens your immune system to the point that you have AIDS."

While there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, medications can control the infection and greatly slow its progression.

"Thanks to these life-saving treatments, most people with HIV in the U.S. today don't develop AIDS. Untreated, HIV typically turns into AIDS in about 8 to 10 years," Mayo Clinic states.