Today marks the day where we unite in the fight against HIV&AIDS. It’s a bittersweet situation because of how uninformed people are about this disease. One thing which still gets to my skull is how we stigmatize people living with HIV&AIDS. World AIDS Day is said to bring awareness to people, educate and inform us about the virus. It will break the fear and the stigma we impose on those living with the disease.
HIV&AIDS have been a threat for many years since its discovery. Today we raise awareness of this pandemic, and we mourn those whom we lost of the disease. Growing up, HIV was not openly spoken about as presently. It was taboo to speak about this, let alone to be taught about it by the elders.
If there’s a woman or a man across the street infected with the disease, the family would keep it a secret from the community. People would not know unless you visit them, but still, they would make sure that they hid the patient in an isolated backroom. To them, it was a death sentence. They were only waiting for the day the patient passed away.
As I grew, I realized that it was because of a lack of knowledge. HIV&AIDS meant the end of the road. And many of our beloved brothers and sisters lost their lives due to a lack of medical knowledge.
Today, a lot has changed. We see a lot of AIDS activists emerging, and that is a beautiful thing to watch. People are taking ARVs ( Anti Retro Virals ), and they are living healthier and purposeful lifestyles. It takes a lot to finally reach a place of acceptance. Many people lost their lives not because the virus spread in the body, but because they could not accept themselves and their situation. Others could not speak out because they were embarrassed that they would be laughed at, ridiculed, and rejected.
It is what I want to say to HIV&AIDS negative people: Be compassionate enough to support those who are positively infected. We should give them the love and support they need. The journey is tough, and it will require intensive support to help them realize that it is not the end of the world.
I would love to give a round of applause to HIV&AIDS activists, who are also infected. They have publicly announced their statuses and living healthy lives with their loved ones. Enjoying every moment of their lives and making it count because they realized that it’s not the end of the world. We draw inspiration and hope from them. May they be of good courage to you to emerge and be the best you can be.
Nozibele Qamngana Maya
“I’m sorry, both tests have confirmed that you are HIV positive”, said a doctor 8years ago.
She has broken myths, broke the status quo, and challenged herself so much that she can live life to the fullest. She is a testament that living with the disease is not the end of the road. She had been living with HIV for eight years. She became an author, Storyteller, Entrepreneur, MC, media personality, and wife. She has a YouTube channel of 158k subscribers and 8,6 million views.
Doreen Moraa Moracha
She is one of the strongest women you could ever meet. She believes she is a beautiful story by advocating a healthy lifestyle with her YouTube channel. She has created a platform to teach people to live a positive life by taking ARVs, focusing on their happiness, and living life unapologetically. She is the epitome of strength personified. Her purposeful living has brought hope in the lives of many people living with HIV.
Lebogang Brenda Motsumi
Her HIV-positive status never stopped Lebohang from living a purposeful life and going after her dreams. She is one of the international speakers for HIV&AIDS. She mentioned earlier this year that her journey had not been an easy one. ” Our journeys are different, and we need to understand that. It’s okay to fall off the wagon and get up again. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect”, Lebogang said. One thing she emphasized is that her current circumstance does not define her or her future. She is an author and an inspirational speaker.
These incredible people have been great advocates for people living with HIV&AIDS. Living with HIV is not the end of the world. They are proof that you are not defined by your condition. Never allow your HIV-positive status to deter you from doing anything. The thought is cancerous to your well-being. Remain positive, and know that you are not defined by your condition.
HIV and AIDS is not a death sentence.
Please keep checking some of the stories of the people living with HIV, on the coming posts soon.
NB: Would you like to be featured here on my blog about your HIV story? Or do you know anyone who would be comfortable sharing their stories? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will chat further.
From my heart to yours