Stories: Hiv

  • Lesotho taxi drivers help lead fight against HIV

    Maseru, Lesotho - Tsitso Mokale drives down Moshoeshoe Road in his black taxi with a yellow stripe, scanning the pavement for potential passengers. The taxi driver in Lesotho's capital, Maseru, is on a mission not just to find new customers, but to start a conversation about the benefits of male circumcision and HIV prevention. It is a daunting task...

  • South Africa Sets Up Program to Break the Link between HIV/AIDS and Violence

    Miranda was four months pregnant and extremely anxious when she got her first HIV test. She had long been afraid of a positive diagnosis, and shortly after stepping into a tent offering free HIV tests at a taxi stand in central Johannesburg, her fear was confirmed. Miranda—who asked to use a pseudonym to protect her safety and privacy...

  • South Africa’s plan to tackle HIV among sex workers

    Johannesburg, South Africa - In the shadow of an underpass, wearing a black bob wig, Tlaleng paces along her patch of Nugget Street, scanning the downtown Johannesburg traffic. Behind her, other women lead clients behind the crumbling walls of a gutted building in the brisk morning light. But Tlaleng, a boiled egg in one palm, is distracted, her eyes roaming...

  • Condom Couture and Other Ways to Fight AIDS With Art

    After 20 years of doing “condom couture,” Adriana Bertini knows she can make a dress out of old condoms in about 50 hours. But after years of carting bags packed with condom collectibles – including a wedding dress made from 80,000 sheaths – around the world, the Brazilian designer never knows how long it will take to get through the airport. ...

  • Pregnant and Diagnosed with HIV: The Group Providing Support for Mothers

    Thirteen years ago, when Babalwa Mbono was eight months pregnant with her second child, she went to her clinic in Cape Town, South Africa, to have a routine HIV test. “I went with confidence because my first child was negative and I was negative then,” she says. When the test came back positive, Mbono couldn’t...

  • In South Africa, HIV Prevention Starts With Sex Workers

    A condom or a coffin. That is the real choice a woman faces when she decides between a man paying 40 to 400 South African rand (around $3 to $30) for sex while wearing a condom, and one paying 1,000 to 1,500 rand (around $75 to $110) for unprotected sex, explains sex worker Emily. In the city of Durban, where 53 percent of sex workers have HIV, peer...

  • Stigma ‘Killing’ South Africans Living with HIV

    Tania has to shout to be heard over music blasting out of a brothel in downtown Durban, South Africa, where dozens of sex workers slouch in chairs under the red glow of the bar or lean against walls as they wait for clients. Dressed in a tight top and trousers, the 42-year-old looks younger than her age. Sex work is...

  • Bisi Alimi on HIV Criminalization and Intersectionality

    Last month I got the opportunity to attend the annual AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa, thanks to an International Reporting Project (IRP) fellowship. Amongst many enlightening sessions was a pre-conference keynote address given by activist Bisi Alimi. Though the narrative has mostly focused on him being the first Nigerian to publicly come out on Nigerian network television, Alimi is...

  • Swaziland and HIV: Redrawing What It Means to Be a Man

    The 300 or so pictures of "the ideal man" drawn by boys joining a male-mentoring charity in Swaziland are almost always the same. They depict a solitary and solemn figure who appears domineering - on his land, drinking and wearing traditional dress. "I thought a man was somebody who's got a family, somebody who's got authority, power, that kind...

  • Busting HIV Myths in Mozambique, One Text at a Time

    When Flavia Meringue gets to work in the morning, her inbox is full of intimate questions from children, some as young as 10, asking questions like, “Should I be having sex yet?” She and 11 other counselors at the Coalizao youth center in Mozambique’s capital Maputo answer hundreds of queries a day from people who use their phones...