An Aids activist on life with HIV

Khanyi Ndabeni

THERE are some days when 35-year-old mother-of-two Precious cannot take her ARVs because she does not have any food to eat.

ARV medicines are necessary to keep Aids at bay.“This is also the time when I talk to the virus. I say something like, listen, you are nothing but an invader in my body. I never went to any shop to buy you so listen, this is my body and I don’t have anything to eat now, so obey.

“This keeps me going until I get something to eat from someone because taking pills on an empty stomach make me dizzy and treatment gives me an appetite,” she said.

“My biggest challenge is eating a healthy diet meal every day.”

Precious, an Aids activist, has been living with the virus for eight years. She volunteers at Motherwell clinic where she counsels, tests and helps to educate the Motherwell community on HIV/Aids.

“Living with the virus hasn’t been easy but one has to learn to cope with it. When I first heard I had the sickness. I was so scared of dying that I told everyone I had it.

“Unlike other people in my support group, I’ve never experienced any rejection from the community but instead everyone showed me love and supported me throughout,” she said.

Precious earns a stipend of R1300 from clinic and has to feed a family of six. Sometimes she cannot afford to buy fruit or healthy meals.

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