Christopher lived with HIV for more than ten years before he died of an “undiagnosed disease”. Like many in South Africa, had he had access to better health care and HIV treatments, he might have survived. But, unlike many, he died knowing what his rights were and he fought for them.
He joined TAC in January this year. He and his partner Nontsikelelo, were the first ones from the Nyanga Clinic support group (which Christopher, with two other members, started) to join the campaign for treatments. Since then they have convinced more than 10 members from that support group and others from clinics in the area to join the Campaign. He was Organiser of Nyanga TAC’s work.
In the little time that he has been with Nyanga TAC, he has taught all of us the meaning of real courage. He challenged societal discrimination towards people with HIV. He has mobilised other PWA’s in the townships to live openly with HIV and to join the campaign for treatments. He has challenged health worker’s careless attitudes in clinics and day hospitals in the area. He has gone as far as Parliament to speak against unjust government policies on HIV/AIDS.
He has been the heart of all our community actions and campaigns in
the group. He was passionate about the Pfizer campaign… and through this
he earned the nickname
“Mr Sluconazole” i.e. Steere + Fluconazole without the F.
He gave evidence at the parliamentary hearings on access to treatment earlier this year.
In 1996 he lost a child to HIV. He leaves behind his partner Nontsikelelo (also living with HIV), an 11 year old daughter, six siblings and two parents.
His death has redefined the meaning and gravity of the campaign for HIV TREATMENTS for all of us in the group.
We salute Him for his indomitable fighting spirit, now and forever!