Gisèle Wulfsohn is a freelance photographer based in Johannesburg. In the early 1980s, she worked for the Star newspaper and Style magazine. By the mid-80s, she had joined Afrapix, a photographic collective that documented the anti-apartheid struggle. In 1994, she was among the photographers commissioned by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to document the first democratic elections in South Africa. In post-apartheid South Africa, Wulfsohn has worked on assignment for numerous local and international publications and non-government organizations. She is primarily concerned with gender issues, education, and health. She has been documenting the manifestations of HIV/AIDS in South Africa since the late 1980s.
"The first day at school I didn't tell anybody that I have AIDS but I think they knew. There was one boy that I'm sure doesn't like me. He will greet me but if I go near him he moves away. If I go to touch other boys, he says. 'Don't go near him...
Diagnosed in 1994. Disclosed 30 minutes later. "I told everybody I know from Somerset Road to Somerset Hospital, from the Waterfront to the taxi ranks, down the road to my house, my home, and my friends. I think it was fear that made me tell everyone..."
Diagnosed in August 1987. Disclosed on 10 May 1992. "It was a Sunday morning on the pulpit. It was difficult to do because I had to say to the congregation, 'Listen, I am HIV positive, I feel that I must go talk to young people about HIV at schools and so...
Diagnosed on 13 March 1983. Disclosed immediately. "I don't have a problem with anyone knowing my status at all. I'm clear on the fact that it's my body that has a disease, not me. I'm not a diseased person. My body has got this thing called HIV.."
Diagnosed in the 1980s. Disclosed in 1999. "Before my statement I felt enormously apprehensive, but deep within myself I knew that it was the right thing to do. The size of the response and the extent to which it was positive, amazed and moved me..."
Diagnosed in 1992. Disclosed in 1997. "I can't say I was nervous to tell people. I was just sad. I had pains thinking, 'Why me?' because now I had met other mothers and their children. It looked so sad to see the children were so thin..."
Diagnosed in 1995. Disclosed in 1996. "Sometimes I do feel down. After I appeared on television I actually expected other people to come forward and when no one actually did, I felt that my time was useless. Then I received a call from another Muslim guy.."
Jaco diagnosed in 1992. Disclosed a week later. Antoinette diagnosed in 1995. Jaco: "It depends on your outlook on life when you are diagnosed. If things are going wrong with your life when you find out you are HIV positive..."
Diagnosed in October 1991. "I believe that the very first person with whom you voluntarily share your HIV positive diagnosis has to be someone that you are almost 'guarenteed' will respond favourably. Because their reaction will pave the way for the future..."
Diagnosed in 1996. Disclosed in 1998. "One of the reasons why I wanted to talk about my HIV is because of how I got my virus. For me it was difficult to talk about HIV becuse I was still dealing with my rape when I knew about my status..."
Martin Volsoo was diagnosed as HIV-postivie in 1990 and disclosed this in 1997. "You also need to consult with your partner when it comes to disclosure because it is not only you that is subjected to this discrimination but also your family..."
Diagnosed 1993. Disclosed six months later. "I did come home to disclose to my family. They started seeing me on T.V. My face was hidden. People who knew me, like my family, knew my hands. When my mother saw me and my son said, 'Momma, I saw your hands...'"
Diagnosed in 1995. Disclosed a few months later. "You should have seen their faces. If they were not black people, they would have gone pink. But they had all kinds of expressions. Some of them were saying, 'You're lying', some were shocked..."
Diagnosed in December 1994. Disclosed in 1996. "Early in 1997, I said that people had to know that I'm HIV positive. I realised that if I kept this disease a secret, it was going to destroy my immune system. I believe that when I talk about it..."
Disclosed in July 1998. "My disclosure in parliament was in a very safe environment because I am an African National Congress (ANC) member and I knew that no one in the ANC had ever disclosed. I told them that it didn't change my ability to speak..."