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Health Beat #8 | ‘They looked at me like I’m an animal’: Why discrimination spreads HIV

  • People who need health services the most are often driven away from clinics and hospitals because doctors and nurses refuse to help them or make them feel uncomfortable.
  • Researchers from Ritshidze found that people with a higher chance of getting HIV frequently don’t get helped at government health facilities. Their report asked men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender people, injecting drug users and prisoners about the services they got at state clinics and hospitals.
  • In this episode of our monthly television show Health Beat, we speak to two transgender women about their experiences, we ask a Ritshidze researcher why people feel unwelcome and our Mia Malan takes the health department to task about health worker attitudes.

Find the full episode script.

Mia Malan is the founder and editor-in-chief of Bhekisisa. She has worked in newsrooms in Johannesburg, Nairobi and Washington, DC, winning more than 30 awards for her radio, print and television work.

Mohale Moloi worked at Bhekisisa as a television producer and health journalist from July 2021 to March 2024.

Jessica Pitchford is Bhekisisa's TV and multimedia editor. She's been a journalist since the early nineties and has reported on some pivotal events in South Africa’s political history, such as the country’s transition to democracy and the work of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission.

Yolanda Mdzeke is a multimedia reporter at Bhekisisa.