Ntlotleng Mabena joined the Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit as a junior doctor and came out a certified HIV clinician with a passion for public health. After working at several HIV clinics, Mabena trained general practitioners to perform safe medical termination of pregnancies through the Society for Family Health’s Sisterhood Network programme. Currently studying towards her master’s in public health, the 32-year-old Pretoria doctor now works in a related, if not unusual, field for a young female doctor and self-confessed feminist — medical male circumcision. As the operations manager at the Centre for HIV/Aids Prevention Studies, Mabena helps government to set up male circumcision clinics. “Medical male circumcision is a proven, effective HIV prevention strategy which in effect decreases the chances of a man acquiring HIV from an HIV positive woman by about 60%.” But her end goal is still women’s health, for which she hopes to become an innovator, clinician and rights activist.
— Cat Pritchard