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They Go to Die: Documentary on TB and HIV among South Africa’s gold mine workers

23 March 2015

They Go to Die is an award-winning documentary of four former migrant gold mineworkers in South Africa and Swaziland who have contracted drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) and HIV while working at the gold mine.

In this short video, director and Yale epidemiologist Jonathan Smith highlights the importance of this film in linking TB research to community engagement, with the aim of inspiring both advocates and patients alike.

When the miners fail to improve their TB status at the mining hospital, they are sent home to rural areas of South Africa often with no continuation of care or means for treatment. This practice is often referred to as “sending them home to die” by leading health officials.

The film, commissioned by the Treatment Action Group (TAG), raises concerns of disease and human rights violations uniquely though the context of life, love, and family; unlike traditional health films, it focuses on relationships and bonding, not death and disease. 

To learn more about this project, visit:

See more articles in Community engagement

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