Saturday, 17 March 2018

I'm HIV positive but that doesn't define who I am

By Thembelihle Mkhwanazi
My name is Thembelihle Mkhwanazi and I'm 19-years-old. This is my story. I was born HIV positive and I only found out when I was 13 years of age. During early childhood phase I would constantly get sick and people thought that was going to die. My parents knew what was happening and it really got them in shock. I have flash backs of pastors praying for me to get better. I was taken to every best doctors so that I can get better. One day my dad and I went to the hospital for check-up and I incidentally over-heard the nurse talking about ARV's with some parent of the child with the same condition as mine.
That got me curious and I went to my dad and asked: "why are we here for check-up everytime, It is annoying me"?  "It's because you are special" was his replie to me and he couldn't look me in the eyes as he said the words. Next appointment came and I was with my dad again, "dad what's this medication for"? I asked "That's because you are sick but it's okay, don't worry about it".
When we got home, I asked my dad the same question. Fortunate enough  my mom is a trained nurse , she sat me down and explaind everything I needed to know because she felt it was time for me to know the truth  and that is when  she told me I'm HIV positive.  My mind that day and that time was miles away, looking at myself in the mirror saying "So cute on the outside but ugly on the inside" .I remember I would just cry out of nowhere thinking about the virus. One day I said to myself no "one can see that I have the virus so let me florish".
I kept this a secret from my friends and family, only my parents and I knew . I did not let the virus define me, it was not written in the forehead. I was playing with other children because I'm normal, and was happy through out my childhood with no complications. I have finished my high school last year and no one knew about it because I was not ready for the stigma and countless questions that may arise. I can be funny, I can sing, I can swim, I can act I can do everything I want. Taking medication is important. My mom would usually give me hiding if I missed medication because she cared. Funny enough I even forget that there is a virus in my body.
This is why I’ writing this: do not let it be the subject of your life! Never allow that! God made you into his own image, you worth more than gold, gold was created by God; do not let the issues of the world be your issues. LIVE YOUR LIFE THE WAY YOU WANT TOO. Their problems are not yours.
 HIV is not a death sentence. HIV is a virus and it is not a death sentence.

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