young HIV positive woman who was prepared to do almost anything to hide her
status has come to the realisation that living openly and honestly has freed
her to realise her full potential.
'Still I kept quiet'
Majola* (26) from Bohlokong near Bethlehem in the Free State says she was never
ready to reveal her status to anybody. She was afraid of being judged, afraid
of the consequences, and afraid of being accused of infecting her partner
all that changed after she had baby.
gave birth early this year and still I kept quiet about my status. After that I
started losing so much weight. But still, I couldn't reveal the truth because I
was ashamed and scared of what people would think of me – especially my friends.
They were the first to tell me that the father of my child was sick with HIV,”
relationship didn't last for long. When it ended I told myself that I should let
my family and friends know that I am positive because rumours were already
going around saying I infected my child’s father. This was even though he is
the one who gave me the infection.”
Read: HIV-positive: what now?
Majola felt brave enough to tell her closest friends first. Then she watched
them become distant.
with time they came back to me and helped me through everything. I started
living happily and I became healthier. We would exercise together and they
would attend support groups with me. Now I am focused on life again. I went
back to school to study further at Bethlehem College,” she said.
Best to be open
now have a loving and caring fiancé
who is also HIV positive. We are living a
happy life we even remind each other to take our medication."
says she is happier now that she has accepted her status, she takes her
medication daily and is openly HIV positive. Even her family are supportive.
first I was very angry when I found out that my child was living with HIV. It
took me months before I could talk to her, but at the end I forgave her for
hiding it from me. I am glad that she is now healthy and taking treatment and
also loves her own child unconditionally,” said Majola’s mother, Matsoane
Read: New hope for HIV positive individuals
Moloi, an agent from support group Love Life, said it was best for people to be
open about their status after hearing that they are HIV positive.
better for them to open up to other people because keeping it inside will cause
stress and depression. For a sick person, revealing the truth and accepting
their status is a better way to live and helps them heal faster emotionally,”
- not their real names)
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