Phase 2: Stories from South Africa

South Africa has been chosen as one of the places for Our Viral Lives to collect interviews because of its rich history of HIV/AIDS activism, its well-established archival materials, and the myriad of organizations committed to serving LGBTQ populations across racial and socioeconomic lines.

Like Mexico City, Our Viral Lives wants to begin by collecting written stories from individuals in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria (where I will be visiting personally) or any other surrounding areas. Any one of the following prompts can be answered by emailing me directly at kyle [at] ourvirallives [dot] org. Please include your first name (if you are comfortable sharing that), age, and city/town you live in. Feel free to answer in English and any other language you feel comfortable with.


  • Are you HIV-positive? If so, what forms of stigma or discrimination have you personally faced? How have you dealt with these situations? Have you gotten involved in activism or volunteer causes around HIV/AIDS?
  • Are you HIV-negative? If so, why do you want to talk more about HIV? Is there a particular story or situation that changed how you understood HIV?
  • South Africa faces significant racial and economic disparities that affect access to HIV prevention and treatment. In an ideal world, what would HIV prevention and treatment look like throughout the country?
  • Are you an activist or do you work in academic or scientific fields that deal with HIV and sexuality? If so, describe the work you’re doing, talking about how you got involved and what you hope this work will accomplish.

[As always, feel free to answer another question I may not have included. Any and all stories are welcome.]

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