Silence is golden, it is said. But not for Constance Nansamba* from Uganda, who paid a dear price for keeping silent about being HIV positive and pregnant at age 18.
Three years ago, Robert Ngwenya* and his father got into a heated argument over medication. Ngwenya, then aged 15, refused to continue swallowing the nausea-provoking pills he had been taking since he was 12 years old, and flushed them down the toilet.
She is only 17, but each morning is a reminder of her losses in life. As Pretty Nyathi* forces herself out of bed, feeds her baby, bundles him on her back and rushes to the market to buy vegetables to sell on the streets of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe she wishes her life were different.
Malawi, which has a population of 14 million, has an HIV prevalence of 10 percent. Almost a third of the infected are aged below 30. This is in part the result of early sexual debut for young girls, a practice encouraged in parts of the country where girls participate in traditional initiation ceremonies. Pilirani Tambala looks at why young Malawian girls are engaging in sex too early and what is being done to discourage the practice.
When Phumzile Khoza* came to the central Johannesburg antenatal clinic on a chilly day in August 2013, she was feeling on edge. Not about the medical procedures – she already had two children – but about talking to the nurse.
David Mubita has long been known in the family as a fool for starting trouble. The latest was getting circumcised secretly and nearly cast out by Grandfather Ndumwa. But Mubita may turn out to be the wisest in the family.
“The future is today aged 10 and it’s an adolescent girl,” Kate Gilmore, deputy executive director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), said in an interview with IPS in Johannesburg.
With tears rolling down her cheeks, Zainab Salifu queued at the fevers unit of the Tamale Teaching Hospital in northern Ghana. Earlier in the day, the 18-year-old had been diagnosed HIV positive.
Matthew Jacobs* has been married for two years but his wife doesn’t know that he is also in a relationship with someone else. If his secret were discovered, it could result in him ending up in jail. His crime? Being in a same-sex relationship.
In early January 2008, during the violence that rocked Kenya after disputed general elections, a man knocked at Lucia Wakonyo’s gate at Mathare Valley, in the sprawling Mathare slum.
Uganda's president, Yoweri Museveni, has reportedly refused to sign a controversial anti-gay bill that would mean life in prison for people convicted of homosexual acts.
Thanks to antiretroviral drugs, HIV-positive children can now live to adulthood. Yet a significant number of children living with HIV in Kenya will die due to delay in receiving anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs), inconsistent use of ARVs or, simply, no ARVs.
Smiling as she breastfeeds her six-week-old baby boy, Lindiwe Dlamini, 38, is optimistic about his future.
The Ugandan government is struggling to live up to its promises to protect the local production of antiretrovirals and anti-malarials from competition from abroad.
Each month, scores of people living with HIV gather at Mpilo's Opportunistic Infections Clinic in Bulawayo for free antiretroviral medication that has improved their lives.