Partiey – ‘We're making progress with people accessing services’

24 July 2020

Partiey, a healthcare worker from Eswatini, talks about the positive impact of delivering tailored HIV treatment and prevention services to the LGBTIQ community.

Partiey – ‘We are making great progress in the numbers of people accessing healthcare services.’

Partiey explains that the LGBTIQ community has faced many difficulties in accessing healthcare services in Eswatini. This is because of stigma and discrimination, and also because specific healthcare needs are not covered by these services.

He also notes that Eswatini’s healthcare system is not sensitive to the specific needs of the community in combating HIV and AIDS, and that tailored services for the LGBTIQ community are essential for HIV prevention. This should include establishing a gender-affirming approach to healthcare. Some of the services involve providing lubricants for men who have sex with men and dental dams for lesbians, facilitating psychological counselling and being more inclusive with the transgender community. He acknowledges that the job would not be completed without making the LGBTIQ community aware that these services are available for them.

We have brought healthcare workers and members of the LGBTIQ community together to bring harmony and common understanding.

As a result of providing these specific services, Partiey recognises that great progress has been made, showing an increase in the number of people accessing HIV services in the community.

In Eswatini, stigma and discrimination towards the LGBTIQ community means people encounter many barriers when trying to access healthcare services. This leaves them more vulnerable to HIV. The fact that these services are not tailored to the specific needs of the community increases these difficulties. The conversation with Partiey shows the importance of delivering tailored HIV treatment and prevention services to the LGBTIQ community, to ensure these services reach all the people who need them.

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.