TEXT: LISEBO KEKE
People who test positive with Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus, HIV/AIDS had always believed that it is the end of their lives, because the latter considered it to be something that can often take control of the person’s life, interfering with interpersonal relationships, while significantly reducing the quality of life.
There are other people however, who are HIV positive but still live their lives like everyone else, these kind of people include a 19-year-old Mosotho girl; an external student at Lesotho Institution for Further Education, LIFE High School, ‘Malehlohonolo Phakisi who was born and fostered at Ha-‘Masana.
Talking to Achiever Magazine, Malehlohonolo revealed that she has been living positive for almost a year now. She said though she was pressed, she was not crushed. She believes that this wilderness is never meant to kill her but to elevate her.
How she discovered the virus she publicized thus,
“I became very ill and my parents thought I had an abortion for reasons known to them. I went to the hospital and told the Doctor all my symptoms but he couldn’t tell what was wrong with me.”
Phakisi explained that the doctor ended up saying it was a non-specific virus. She says no one suspected an HIV test was necessary, little did they know that was the time her body was being invaded by the HIV virus
“Life can be a living hell once people discover your status, discrimination commences, losing of friends and so many things are being done to oppress your soul,” she allotted.
Explaining her first reaction when she discovered her status and had to use Anti-Retroviral, ARVs, Malehlohonolo said she was more worried about how she was going to break the ice to her parents, how people are going to react towards her status and how is it going to be like to take medication every single night until death.
“ I literally cried in front of the nurse, I felt like Pinocchio must have felt inside of the whale, cut off everything that I thought was my life,” she explained.
She further exposed that her boyfriend of two years, whom she used to love and trust implicitly, left her after announcing the then shocking news; which was funny because a month before she could discover that she has the virus, she had had unprotected sex with him. She uttered she believes she might have infected him, or the other way round since she had always tested negative prior to then.
“Parents will forever be best friends, though I was afraid to tell them about my status, they are the ones who have been supportive since day one,” she said.
This aspiring psychologist joined a group of young people who are living with HIV/AIDS. It is aimed at empowering youth who are positive, convince them that they can still achieve their dreams even if they have this virus living in their bodies.