Quarterly general newsletter for multinational mining company Anglo American's Johannesburg corporate offices. I was responsible for sourcing, interviewing and writing.
"Let’s not play dumb with HIV," says Nombuyiselo Mapongwana, counsellor and educator, medical services, AIDS policy unit, corporate clinic. Nombuyiselo is HIV positive, has been for 20 years, and she is healthy, fit and in the fortunate position to be able to help others. She is also positive about life and talks openly about her health status. In fact, that is her job. "I am an agent for change," is how she describes her role.
The journey to her job was a chain of coincidences. She will never forget the day she met Dr Brian Brink. It was a day that saved her life. "In 2003 I fell very ill with full-blown Aids," she explains, "during the time when antiretroviral treatment was not freely, nor reasonably available in South Africa." A newspaper interviewed her, in a story captioned: "They are playing with my time.” And they were. Nombuyiselo could not afford the expensive dual therapy she needed.