This paper examines two autobiographical responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa from the perspective of responsibility and rights. The analysis draws on interdisciplinary studies of the epidemic and its effects on South African communities. Memoirs by Edwin Cameron and Sister Abegail Ntleko address challenges in South Africa with regard to attitudes toward and treatment of HIV-infected people. Both writers use their texts to advocate for social and political responsibility and for the rights of those infected. Rian Malan’s essays function as a counterpoint, bringing into focus controversial questions about the role of funding and reliable statistics for the epidemic. The topic is relevant in a South African context where antiretroviral treatment was met with skepticism in official political discourse. Representations of responsibilities and rights as well as official responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic have been additionally reexamined in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, giving the epidemic renewed relevance.