A large chunk of our reporting focuses on HIV. Since the launch of Bhekisisa in 2013, we’ve covered HIV in-depth — from the impact of the virus on former president Nelson Mandela’s family to the advances in antiretroviral treatment and anti-HIV pills and injections. We’ve also looked at the impact of inequality and discrimination on the spread of HIV, the link between gender-based violence and HIV — and ways to fix it.
Likhona Matatu, Lilitwa Lolwana and Esethu Thebe are women who want one thing: to avoid getting HIV.
Fortunately they are able to access anti-HIV pills or vaginal rings from a mobile clinic for young people. It’s called a Tutu truck, and visits them right where they live.
The pill protected Matatu when things got “icky” with her boyfriend, but it works best when taken every day. Something that didn’t suit Lolwana, who uses a vaginal ring she only has to replace once a month.
So how exactly do these prevention meds work? Our Health Beat team visited Cape Town communities with the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation to find out.