Callers share their HIV stigma experiences

South Africa joined the world in commemorating World Aids Day on Sunday.

According to a recent report by the United Nations, more than 7 million people in South Africa are living with the virus.

Eusebius McKaiser says the work of civil society must be applauded for the fight to get treatment accessible to people.

One of the biggest challenges we still have is the stigma around HIV.

Eusebius McKaiser, Show host

One of the battles that we face still is that new infection rates are still too high and young women, in particular, are still exposed to the risk of HIV.

Eusebius McKaiser, Show host

You can live with HIV and flourish as long as you are on treatment. The thing that really kills people is the stigma.

Eusebius McKaiser, Show host

Callers shared their experience with the stigma.

Back in 1996, there was this thing in the mining industry. When you got fired they had to test your blood and when they took my blood they called it hepatitis then and I could not get hired. I lived with the stigma till 2000. I went to the clinic and each and every year I thought I was dying. I have never been employed because of the stigma in this country.

David, Caller

Don't live your life based on bazothini abantu, that is not going to take you anywhere. When I found out I have HIV in 2014 I wanted to kill myself but something reminded me I have a daughter who loves me.

Simphiwe, Caller

I was diagnosed at the age of 18 and now I am 42. I am living very well and have never been sick. I took me years to disclose to my parents but I am living well.

Thokozile, Caller

Listen to the full interview below...


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