Sediapelo is an HIV+ woman from Botswana. She spent years in denial of her status, having unprotected sex with multiple partners and struggling with substance use. But after her father passed away she realised the preciousness of life and worked hard to overcome self-stigma and embrace a life of living positively.

Special thanks to the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa for providing this story.

Key points to consider in viewing Sediapelo’s story

Attitudes about sex can vary by gender, and people often condemn those (especially women) who have multiple partners. Sediapelo speaks very frankly in this story about her own sexual behaviour. She is now able to reflect on the causes and consequences of her actions. In watching this story, remember that people respond to the news that they’re positive in many different ways. Above all, remember that it’s important to challenge negative attitudes towards those who are living with HIV and AIDS.

Learn More

Sonke works with many communities to use storytelling and digital media to help people tell their own stories around gender, violence, HIV and AIDS and related issues.

Sonke partnered with Silence Speaks to enable young people and adults affected by violence and HIV and AIDS to share their stories. Other digital stories have been produced with former prisoners who experienced sexual violence in jail. And the MenEngage African Youth Alliance and Sonke partnered with UNFPA to produce “Youth Stories of Change” along with a discussion guide and other resources.

Through intensive, participatory video production workshops, Sonke is bringing rarely-heard voices and images into the civic arena. Our hope is that by highlighting everyday stories, we will deepen existing conversations about gender norms and health issues, as well as empower the storytellers and their communities.

Download Resources

Click here to download a facilitator’s guide, discussion guides and other Digital Stories resources to assist in the use of these tools in your community.