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Name: Sarah
Female
Age: 34 years

This patient found out that she was HIV positive when she was 4 months pregnant. She struggled to tell her mom and her partner who also found out he was HIV positive. She gave birth to an HIV negative son. Her family supports her to take her ARVS every evening when Generations begin and she hasn’t looked back. In fact she often forgets she is HIV positive!

I found out that I am HIV positive when I was 4 months pregnant. I had been waiting to fall pregnant for 11 years and I was so hurt because I had been so excited.  I felt so bad but fortunately I had a friend who was a social worker. I first disclosed to her and I ask her to help me to find a way of telling my mother.  But my main problem was how to disclose to my partner because I knew he had a negative attitude about HIV.

My friend told me to disclose when I felt ready to do so. After three weeks of counseling I decided to tell my partner about my status. He felt so sorry for me and was worried that maybe I would be depressed and have complications and lose our unborn baby.  He asked me to accompany him to go and do his HIV test, Unfortunately he was also HIV positive.

I started ARV because my CD4 count cells were 129.  I told him that I would feel much better if I could disclose to my mother.  My mother was very supportive and also helped me to take my ARVs at the correct times.

I gave birth to my baby boy who was 4.1kg at birth and was HIV negative.  At home everybody, even my little boy, knows that his mother is taking Rx at 8 pm. He reminds me to take my Rx when Generation starts.  My son doesn’t know that know what the treatment is for. Only my partner and I at home know that I am on ARVs.

I would advise people who are HIV positive to accept their status and to disclose to people that you think you trust.  Lead a positive life i.e. take your medication correctly at the right time, practice safe sex look after yourself and if you feel sick go and see the doctor. At the moment my viral load has been undetectable for 6 years now and my CD4 count is at 1289.  I am healthy and I even forget that I am HIV positive!

 

 

 

One man’s reaction to his diagnosis.

 

How this lady’s life has improved

10 ways to be successful on ARVs

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Antiretroviral therapy typically combines three or more antiretroviral drugs that work together to keep the HI Virus from multiplying. Although antiretroviral drugs improve health and delay death, they do not cure HIV/AIDS.

 

  1. Commit to drug taking: ART is lifelong treatment which needs to be taken correctly for it to be effective.
  2. Get to know your treatment: Ensure that you know and understand what medication you are on and how to take it.
  3. Choose a pill time: Get help from your healthcare provider to work out a medication schedule that will fit into your daily activities.
  4. Remember your medication: Make use of an alarm clock or cellphone to remind you when to take your medication.
  5. Get a pillbox: Keep a supply of your drugs with you wherever you go, so that you do not miss your pill time (it also helps to have a bottle of water with you).
  6. Get a treatment buddy: It helps to disclose to someone close to you, preferably someone who lives with you, who will be able to offer you support and to remind you to take your treatment.
  7. Missed doses: If you miss a dose take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s almost time for your next dose then you should wait and take the next dose. Do not take double doses.
  8. Stopping treatment: Do not stop treatment on your own, unless instructed to do so by your doctor.
  9. Be aware of side effects: Ensure that your health care provider has explained to you any possible side effects that you may experience. If you do experience any report them to your Health care provider as soon as possible.
  10. Monitoring and evaluation: Be sure to keep all scheduled appointments with your healthcare provider, especially in the first few months of taking treatment, so that the effect of the treatment can be monitored.

 

 

Name: Sarah
Female
Age: 34 years

This patient found out that she was HIV positive when she was 4 months pregnant. She struggled to tell her mom and her partner who also found out he was HIV positive. She gave birth to an HIV negative son. Her family supports her to take her ARVS every evening when Generations begin and she hasn’t looked back. In fact she often forgets she is HIV positive!

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Name: Disebo

Female
Age: 39 years

This ZuziMpilo Medical Centre patient thought she would die within three days of her AIDS diagnosis which she discovered after the birth of her son. Rather than tell her family the truth, she told her mom she had Cancer, but when she finally admitted to having AIDS, she was almost forced to leave home. Thankfully she began on ARVs. She says: “Seven year later I am still doing well on treatment and living a healthy life thanks to the drugs. Antiretroviral medication really works!”

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