...who to disclose to my status. I walked right outside the counseling room, took the soda and bread, and threw it right in front of the parade ground. Friends, who knew me, knew how well I loved food.
I am an orphan, my mum passed on when I was 10 years old, my dad when I was 5 years old.
I have very supportive siblings, in a family of six, I am the last born. I thought of turning to my sister Viola, but was scared on how she would take the whole thing.
I ran to my best friend’s dormitory and disclosed to her my status. She was so supportive, but only for some days. Thereafter, my story was leaked to the whole school, the whole school knew I was HIV Positive.
I was traumatized, people would be looking at me and saying ‘that’s why she is fat, she takes those drugs’
My world was small in high school at that time. I went to my counselling teachers who were extra supportive, they advised me to call my sister, who was frequent with visiting me in school. My uncle would pay my fees, but I was close with my siblings, they never missed visitings.
So my sister was called, and came after some days.
She explained to me that my mum gave birth to me HIV positive, as she was, and at the time, there was too much stigma, no one thought of prevention of mother to child transmission.
With time, I learned to live with this fact, I was HIV Positive. I was not on any drugs at the moment, so during the holidays, I was introduced to ARVs after my CD4 counts were discovered to be so low. I had various opportunistic infections.
My best friend took back her blanket that I will infect her, everything that we shared or I shared in the dormitory was taken away from me, because my schoolmates believed I would infect them, just by sharing.
I endured all that discrimination for the next two years, I loved my school, how supportive my teachers were. However, begun taking my drugs, but before then, I would be sickly, having rushes all over my body, ear ache and feeling weak. I had to overcome all that, I had no choice.
Fast forward, any man who would be interested in me, I’d tell them my HIV status first. I met different kinds of men, most of them were not satisfied with the fact that people can be intimate and not get infected.
I finally met the father of my two girls, like any other man, I disclosed to him my status and he was okay with it. He was a supportive, understanding and very calm guy.
However, after three years of being together, we had to separate, he fell in love with someone else. I still respect that to date.
He was HIV Negative, I was HIV positive, never infected him, he is still negative.
When a person living with HIV takes their medication well, they surpress the virus, and thus, very low chances of infecting a person.
My children are HIV Negative, I have the best facility for taking my drugs, and the doctors there have been supportive on how to make sure my kids turned HIV Negative by giving them some type of ARVs for the first six weeks, and the rest of the months till 18months, septrin.
The Kenyan DAILY POST
Page 1 2