Follow the Joke

Breaking The Silence About HIV







What in the world does an “HIV joke” sound like? You wouldn’t think there would be much to laugh about, and yet, with adversity comes humor. But the jokes on this page from South African comics are about more than getting laughs—each is a blow breaking down the wall of silence and stigma surrounding HIV.

Mpho Popps – Cancer vs. AIDS

What’s the one cause of death that no one wants to talk about in South Africa? Comic Mpho Popps clues us in on why passing away from “that other thing” is still taboo in the Rainbow Nation. 

Mpho Popps – Best Excuses For Cutting Class

When you’re a black boy in South Africa, no matter what tribe you’re from, there’s always a good reason to cut class. South African comic, Mpho Popps, recalls the clever tricks he used to pull to skip school.

Mpho Popps – Let’s Be Honest

Why can’t we all be more honest with each other? What would happen to the HIV epidemic if men and women just told the truth from the get-go? Watch as South African comic, Mpho Popps, presents one tantalizing vision of a brave new world.

Mpho Popps – It Was A Secretive Subject

South African comic, Mpho Popps, and his grandmother know firsthand how the stigma surrounding HIV can harm a family. SUP host, Hasan Minhaj, visits Mpho and his gran at her home in Soweto to ask some difficult questions about the struggle Mpho’s own uncle experienced with HIV.

This Girl Is Going to Change The Whole World

South African teen, Tshepang Tladi, works as the chairperson of her school’s Soul Buddyz Club to eliminate the stigma of HIV. Listen to Tshepang speak for about 10 seconds, and you’ll be completely convinced that someday she is going to turn this world on its head.

Hasan & Mpho – Rap Battle

The easiest way to remember something? Turn it into a rap—in two languages, with a killer beat. Taking HIV prevention onto the playing field, SUP host Hasan Minhaj and South African comic Mpho Popps mix it up with the kids from Grassroot Soccer.

Taking HIV Out from Underground

“Stigma is all about people,” says Dr. Catherine Sozi, the UNAIDS Country Coordinator for South Africa. Dr. Sozi explains what it will take to eliminate one of the biggest barriers to ending AIDS.

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