Gay and HIV not a punishment from God

Published: March 29, 2011

A reader tells his story about being an HIV-positive gay man in Bulawayo and Soweto, and his battle against discrimination.

In 1998, Adam (not his real name) attended his first safer sex workshop in Bulawayo. Many of these kinds of workshops, where people get to know how to use condoms, are readily available to men who have sex with men (MSM) in Zimbabwe.

Two years later, an ex-partner accused Adam of infecting him with HIV. He went to Adam’s employers and told them that he had infected him with HIV. Adam was forced to go for an HIV test by his employers which came back showing that he was HIV positive. Adam remembers: “I felt kind of betrayed that my employers were falling for the blackmail. I had broken up with this person – and so he said I infected him with HIV because he wanted me to give him money and food, because I had a job. He wanted support from me.”

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