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April 3, 2012

Deaf, Gay and Living With HIV in South Africa

John Meletse, a deaf South African man who six years ago came out to his family as gay and HIV positive, has become a leading figure demanding greater HIV education and prevention for deaf and disabled communities, CNN reports. In a recent public awareness campaign sponsored by Human Rights Watch, Meletse explains that he was motivated to become an HIV educator after he was diagnosed with HIV at the age of 25 when a doctor wrote “You are HIV positive” on a piece of paper. He received no additional information or support after his diagnosis, but has since educated himself about the virus. Few South African clinics have access to sign language translators, and the misconception that deaf and disabled people do not have sex puts these communities at greater risk of contracting HIV because they are rarely provided with access to prevention materials.

To read the CNN article, click here.

Search: Meletse, South Africa, deaf, gay, South African, John Meletse, Human Rights Watch, sign language, Africa, African

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