HIV/AIDS stigma faced by gay and lesbian communities


The biggest challenge for people living with HIV/AIDS remains the stigma around the pandemic. This is according to Sello Makhalipi, the Free State chairperson for the Positive Action Campaign. He said besides the shortage of medication at public health care centres, the struggle faced by HIV/AIDS-infected people in the Free State remains that they are being marginalised. Makhalipi particularly referred to the stigma and marginalisation faced by gays and  lesbians, as well as sex workers seeking Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) at public health care centres in the Free State. “It is difficult when the LGBI (lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender) community is turned away at health care facilities due to their sexual orientation. These people are not assisted. They are turned away and have to hear things like they don’t smell nice” said Makhalipi.  Makhalipi says HIV/AIDS-infected people should not be discriminated against based on their sexuality