Love in Times of HIV

HIV and TB is not the end of the world, it is what you do with it that counts. When someone is diagnosed with HIV and TB, it’s not the end of the world , you can still lead a normal healthy life, with good and bad times , being loved and unloved.

My friend Toni is a wonderful example of living life to the fullest, she doesn’t take lightly to ignorant people. She has been epileptic since her childhood and on treatment. In 2007 she was diagnosed being HIV positive. Both parents have passed away. Because of her HIV status, people became more hostile to her, until she came face to face with a guy who was enquiring about being infected with HIV through kissing. And her response was, you would need to pass over 25 litres of saliva through a deep cut in your mouth, for that to happen and obviously that is normally impossible.

People were whispering about AIDS, when they passed by Toni. She met a guy in Ezibeleni whom she fell in love with and was loved by him and his mother without any stigma or discrimination. She stands by them. She went on prophylactic treatment because her CD4 was 299.

In January 2012, she became sick and was admitted to Queenstown Hospital. Her uncle and aunt came and took her to Mthatha General Hospital, she had bloods drawn and the results came back with low CD4 count, a TB screening was done and came back positive. She started on TB treatment and two weeks later on Haart.

She says she goes to her boyfriend who is more caring than her relatives. She adds “I never loved anyone as much as I loved Temba right now, I came to him as an incomplete person and there is no pressure intended, when I say this, but where I am right now is where I want to be for the longest time possible there is life after HIV-virus, life goes on. He accepts me just the way I am.

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