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When Ignorance has a voice

I was 18years old, at the pick of my life. I was always amongst top achievers, a “good girl”; whatever that means, parents looked at me and wished their kids were more like me. In my eyes and many others’, I was capable of no wrong. When you walk on such glass it’s hard to believe that certain “bad” things can happen to you”.  You almost feel like you don’t deserve these things that cause a storm to rage through your perceived self.

I was sick for an extended period and doctors could not pick up what was wrong. I walked into the clinic and requested a full blood test. I had lost weight, got sweaty in the evenings and I just could not stand the state I was in anymore. I could hear the nurse give me pre-counselling and in my head, I thought “Really? Is this necessary at all? I’ve been in a relationship with one man and it’s only once or twice where we did not use protection; why then do I need pre-counselling for these tests?”. The results came and right there my life came into a stand still. The HIV test strip was right in-front of me and I watched the two lines develop, but still I told myself that this can’t be; It can’t be happening to me. I listened with a distant mind as the nurse explained what these two lines meant “You are HIV positive”. Even though I saw the test kit’s results I still asked her to draw blood for a full lab test. That same day I left the clinic, went to a private doctor just for a second opinion and this meant another lab test.

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On a particular day, I went back to the clinic and to the private doctor; both lab results confirmed that I was HIV positive. Honestly, I did not know how I would handle this. My mind raced to my family and how I would break the news to them considering the stigma attached to HIV positive individuals. My life flashed right in-front of me; I thought I would die before realising my dreams and goodness, where do I start with disclosing to my partner? Of course, there are questions that your mind rolls to: “When did this happen?”- Well, figuring out when it happened will certainly not change the results- “Why me?”- Okay, as natural as this may sound, if not you then who? Who do you think deserves to be infected?

As I got home I decided to brave it up and open up to my family as I was not prepared to hide that I was going to start treatment soon. It was their love and support that reminded me that I am no different from the next person and that this was not my life sentence. I started dreaming again and each day I make it a point to live it like it’s my last. I refuse to blame myself or anyone else but instead I live and encourage living positively-excuse the pun.

Lesson learnt; HIV/AIDS does not care who you are, how well or bad you behave, IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE. The best you can do is abstain from sex or use protection, stick to one sexual partner at a time and support those who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS instead of judging them.

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I am Proud to say, I am living my best life yet and have dedicated my whole life to teaching others about this epidemic. IT’S NOT OVER UNTIL GOD BLOWS THE WHISTLE.

By The Editor

Dumi Mbona is a founder of TMS Mag, an Author. Worked as a schools' youth Life Coach and KZN Youth Parliament Facilitator under the KZN Office of the Premier the Office on the Right of the Child.