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Jinnie: My son and I are living with HIV

My husband contracted HIV from a waitress. I contracted it from him and my infant son contracted it from breastfeeding. We were all well and healthy at that time and non-the-wiser of the virus within. My husband passed away in June of 2007, after living in denial, knowing full well that the woman he had slept with had died from AIDS-related illnesses. Whilst my husband was sick I took care of him, and finally told him I forgave him for what he brought upon me and our son. I forgave him because I reasoned that if he had asked God to forgive him and God did, who am I not to forgive. After all, we were both made from the same clay, and GOD the potter can choose to do whatever HE wants with us.

After my husband died, I became ill. I got tested and was put on the ART. My son was 5 years old when my husband passed away. I took him in regularly for health checks, and full blood examinations. When my son was 7 years old, he started getting sick. His CD4 had dropped and the doctors started him on ART. He is 9 years old now and is well and healthy. In the beginning I cried myself to sleep questioning why an innocent child should be exposed to this virus. I was saved by the Grace of God. Being born again has given me a whole new perspective on life.

I told my son about his condition, explaining as simply as I could for his young mind to understand the reason why he should take his medicine regularly. I know things happen for a reason. I have become stronger from this experience and I am living one day at time. I have come to love and appreciate life more. For me, one more day to live is like a privilege I could never have enjoyed.  HALLELUJAH!

AVERT says: Learning you and your family are living with HIV can be an heartbreaking experience. You may feel sad, fearful, or maybe even shocked or angry. It is important to know however that HIV can be managed, and it doesn't have to define who you are. With the right treatment, people living with HIV can live long and healthy lives, and with the right support, all those affected can learn to manage the emotional impact that an HIV diagnosis has. For further information, have a look at our pages on Living with HIV.