In North America, HIV is treated as an epidemic that mostly ended in the mid 90s and manageable for the few who are diagnosed. In South Africa, however, HIV is still devastating as ever, affecting nearly twenty percent of the adult population. Despite these devastating statistics, there is still limited access to treatment to support people living with HIV and proper education to decrease infection rates.
Diagnosed at 22 years old and raised in an impoverished community, Vuyiseka Dubula-Majola lived with the fear that the community would shun her and that the lack of resources meant her diagnosis was a death sentence. However, instead of letting that stigma overwhelm her, she realized how important it was to create the structures that would save both herself and millions of others. She has since become a passionate activist for accessible HIV treatment and eliminating the stigma for patients in South Africa. She has worked with organizations like the Stephen Lewis Foundation as a public speaker on gender violence and HIV prevention, as well as the Treatment Action Campaign, serving as their General Secretary from 2008-2016. Vuyiseka is currently working on her Ph.D. in HIV Policy and Public Health Administration.
Vuyiseka joins hosts Gilad Cohen and Simona Ramkisson to discuss the process of being diagnosed with HIV, the socio-economic politics associated with treatment, and why she has so much hope for the future of activism.
Image: Vuyiseka Dubula-Majola by Gilad Cohen.
Hosted by Gilad Cohen (Founder, JAYU) and Simona Ramkisson, produced and edited by Brandon Fragomeni and Alex Castellani. Associate Producer: Ron Ma.
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