World Aids Day 2013 short story winners

To commemorate World Aids Day 2013, we asked our Facebook fans to share their HIV/AIDS story with other readers. The winner and runners up won airtime vouchers. Here are their stories. Join our conversation, Twitter @thezimbabwean and SMS +263 (0) 77 124 6400

I still love him

In 2009 my hubby fell ill. He had been coughing for a month and the TB tests come out negative. I remember one evening when it became worse, he was vomiting a lot. We took him to Parirenyatwa where the doc said he had symptoms like that of TB but before they could refer him to Wilkins he and I were to be first tested for HIV.

We went to the testing room and our blood samples were taken. When we were still waiting for the results my hubby said that if the results come out positive I would be the one who brought HIV to our family. The results came: he was positive and I was negative. I was tested again after three months and still negative. He was treated for TB and put on ARV’s.

We are still together but this whole HIV thing has affected me in big way in that since 2009 we are using protection. We can’t have any more babies – I only have one kid who is now six. I haven’t told anyone, even my own mother or friends fearing that they would pressure me to leave him of which i can’t because I love him and my marriage. I don’t want our son to grow up without his father. To me HIV is now is like any other disease. Every day I remind him to take his medication. I cook good food for him. He is healthy. You can’t even tell he is affected. I am looking forward to getting information from experts on how I can safely have another baby, and with God I know it’s possible. – Entry no 056

Fighting a losing battle?

As one reflects on AIDS Day it is always with such profound sadness, thinking of all those that lost the battle to this terrible disease. Yet these days it seems to be the norm to hear that this man has a “small house” or that young lady is someone’s mistress. It is pathetic, are we forgetting how one small action taken today will affect our tomorrows?

What makes me really angry is how people want today’s gratification without thinking of the children, younger brothers and sisters who are watching how others walk their path. Reputation and integrity are far more precious than a quick romp in the sack.

Are we fighting a losing battle? The numbers do not seem to add up. The WHO recently stated that increasing numbers of adolescents have died of HIV-related diseases between 2005 and 2012. Just because a temporary solution (ARV’s) is now available, does that negate the vows previously made?

So one has to ask again, what have we learnt over the last 25 years? I remember when it had become the norm to attend funerals nearly every week, the number of orphans increased and elderly people who should have been enjoying retirement were now the care givers. It is with hope that we will not give up our fight to battle this disease, but rather we will continue to fight through our morals and ethics. – Entry no 099

A national crisis

It pains to see the youths perishing due to this cureless disease. Just a few weeks ago a report that 17,000 people in Bulawayo were desperately in need of ARVs. That was a survey for Bulawayo only. This should be termed a national crisis which needs urgent attention from whom it may concern. This pandemic has taken its toll throughout Africa. Safe sex has been taught in schools but one wonders why there are so many infected individuals.

The experience of looking after the infected is so touching. One has to bathe and feed the sick person. Some are still in denial that this thing is killing so many people and denial is what has put some of us six feet under. One defies the doctor’s directive, does not take the medication and waits until he or she is lying down. It was shocking how a certain Mrs Thabitha Khumalo was pushing for the legalisation of prostitution, God have mercy! Yes prostitution mayput food on the table, but what of the negative results and impact it brings to the society?

We can spend the whole day or even a year blaming the government on the issue of unemployment but prostitution is not the way forward legalising the sex industry would be a dreadful error in judgment. – Entry no 017

I am scared

Taking an HIV test was not a problem. I knew this was the end of my burden as far as my status was concerned. Yes I tested HIV positive and I am on antiretroviral therapy. The biggest challenge I am now facing is disclosing my HIV positive status to the human resources department at work in order to be placed on special medical aid since my current medical aid is being exhausted by the expensive ARVs.

My real problem here is fear of stigmatisation at the work place, as I am scared the human resources department will let everybody know my HIV status at work. How is everybody going to see me then? I am afraid at the same time that I will have to pay extra money on my medical aid. I am really affected by this scenario. – Entry no 091

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