3 months ago
‘HIV DOES NOT DEFINE ME’
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Virtual reality film helps people feel empathy for each other and overcome the stigma of HIV.
“I’m Sindi. One day I was raped, and the same guys raped me three times in a row. I got pregnant in 2013 and at the same time I found out I was HIV-positive.”
“My name is Lihle. HIV does not define me and it’s important to share my story to help others.”
“I had to walk for three hours from Delft to the clinic in Khayelitsha to get my treatment. In some clinics the nurses treat you badly. They’re very judgmental. We need more youth friendly clinics.”
“When I first found out I had HIV I told myself, ‘I’m giving up on life’. But we get a lot of support from these kinds of groups. It’s important for young people to speak out because when you keep things inside, that’s when it kills you.”
“My five -year-old child was born HIV-negative because I followed my treatment plan.”
“I’ve just finished grade 12. I take my medicine daily. Counselling and peer support groups have given me so much strength.”
The production team’s aim was to see if immersive virtual reality films could encourage young people to take an HIV test and improve relationships between patients and health-care workers by helping them to step into each other’s shoes.
Sister Nomtando Vece was the lead nurse in the films: she is passionate about addressing stigma and creating youth friendly spaces in clinics to win the fight against HIV/AIDS.

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