Model C - ‘There is discrimination in healthcare facilities’

24 July 2020

Model C shares her experience of stigma and discrimination as a transgender woman accessing healthcare services in Eswatini.

Model C - ‘There is discrimination in healthcare facilities.’

As a transgender woman in Eswatini, Model C finds it difficult to access public health facilities. She recognises that discrimination makes people feel intimidated, and discourages them from getting tested. As a result, many people are left unaware of their HIV status.

There is discrimination in healthcare facilities. People feel intimidated and leave without knowing their HIV status.

Model C and Pinty, the interviewer, discuss options for stigma-free HIV testing facilities for transgender people in Eswatini. Model C believes that mobile clinics from community-based organisations are helpful, as these spaces embrace key populations and are free from stigma and discrimination.

She would also like to see the creation of clinics or platforms for transgender people. These safe spaces would allow them to access HIV services without facing stigma. The interview ends with a key question for community-based organisations:

What more can we do to help transgender people access HIV services?

In Eswatini, transgender people are not officially recognised and routinely suffer discrimination. This creates huge barriers for transgender people when accessing healthcare services, leaving them more vulnerable to HIV. Access to healthcare services, including HIV services, is a fundamental human right. Providing healthcare services that are free from stigma and discrimination is essential to the HIV response.

About the author

This interview was conducted by Pinty Dludlu, a citizen journalist from Eswatini.

Video edits by Julia Dotras.

Stories for Change

‘Stories for Change’ is a series of real-life stories of stigma and discrimination, developed in collaboration with citizen journalists from Malawi, Zambia and Eswatini.

Find more stories here.