After she tested HIV-positive at the age of 22, Vuyiseka Dubula-Majola imagined her own grave and the shame her family would live with after her death.
Now director of Stellenbosch University’s Africa Centre for HIV/Aids, the former Treatment Action Campaign secretary-general said her devastation was fuelled by the news that she would not have access to treatment in government clinics.
“After my diagnosis in 2001 I never thought I would have children, let alone live till 40,” Dubula-Majola said on the eve of World Aids Day on Saturday.
“Death was so common that I waited in fear and self-isolation for the day of my death. Due to government denialism and pharmaceutical greed, the poor were sent home to die while those who could afford to buy antiretrovirals in the private sector were able to live. The size of your pocket determined whether you lived or died.”