amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Thembi’s AIDS Diary

Thembi. Photo Credit: Melikhaya Mpumela
Millions of Americans first heard Thembi Ngubane’s voice on April 19, 2006, when National Public Radio aired the 20-year-old South African woman’s audio diary.

Her entries about young love, struggle, and triumph in the face of AIDS, have given voice to the millions of women worldwide living with HIV/AIDS.

Women now comprise half of all new HIV infections in the world. Among women aged 16-25 in South Africa, the proportion rises to 75 percent. But listening to Ms. Ngubane, as she speaks of her efforts to find treatment, the stigma she faces, and her decision to give birth to a daughter, we are taken past cold statistics to a personal chronicle of day-to-day hardship and survival.

On April 24, amfAR, Population Action International and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States hosted a briefing with Ms. Ngubane and Congressional staffers to publicize the issue of women and HIV/AIDS. The briefing, held in Washington, D.C., was part of the Radio Diaries US AIDS Awareness Tour, which also took Ms. Ngubane to New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and Chicago to share her story.

To listen to Ms. Ngubane’s AIDS Diary, click here.