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Living a Double Life

SHONTAIYA

Fear of, or in response to stigma and marginalization results in practices such as hiding a diagnosis and choosing to lead a double life which can be very stressful:

“Yeah, so you’ve got to sort of be a bit selective about who you tell what, when, and that sometimes feels like you’re lying to everybody, but it’s to protect yourself and to protect everybody else. And until the stigma’s gone, I’ve got a huge family of HIV people, and I’ve heard some horrific stories about things that have happened to people when they’ve disclosed, trying to help the community. So, while that still goes on, you gotta keep it quiet, or you cop the repercussions but I can’t do that to my family, you know. So, yeah, I’ve moved away from all my family because of it as well. I live out here on my own. I have done for years now. Um, I see doctors and I do that secretly.

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