n South African Medical Journal - Professionalism is key in providing services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex South Africans : editorial

Volume 104, Issue 8
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



I recently interviewed a young gay man who was hospitalised after he fractured both his arms while fleeing a group of men who threatened to beat him up for being gay. The nurse in the emergency ward to which he was admitted abruptly changed her caring attitude towards him when he explained why he was running away from his attackers. She asserted that he deserved the attack, berated him for his 'un-Christian' behaviour, and ridiculed him in front of other nurses. He has not attended any health facility since this experience. In another interview, a young lesbian woman described her attempt to get tested for HIV at a voluntary counselling and testing facility. Upon hearing that she had had sex only with women, the HIV counsellor told her that she did not qualify for an HIV test because she was not at risk, and told her to go home.

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