April 3, 2012
It’s been 11 years since John Meletse, a deaf, gay South African man, first learned he was HIV positive. But the events of that day are all too vividly etched on his mind: After a brief but anxious wait inside a Soweto clinic, near Johannesburg, a doctor called him in his office. The doctor, unable to communicate with him in sign language, quickly wrote something in a piece of paper and stuck it in front of him. “You are HIV positive” read the note. “He didn’t explain anything,” Meletse recalls in sign language as tears roll down his face.