Adam – ‘It took me five years to start treatment’

24 July 2020

Adam shares his positive experience of accessing HIV healthcare services in Eswatini.

Adam – ‘It took me five years to start treatment after my diagnosis.’

It took Adam five years to accept his HIV-positive status and decide to start treatment. When he went to the hospital his health condition was critical, and he was also diagnosed with TB. Adam had a positive experience with the healthcare services, and he feels extremely grateful for the care he received. This experience motivated him to help other people living with HIV, like his brother:

I was able to help my brother in adhering to his treatment. I told him: ‘I am taking medication, look at how I am. My life is normal and on track. You can do it’.

Pinty, the interviewer, acknowledges how inspiring it is to hear such an encouraging story from someone accessing HIV services in a conservative country like Eswatini.

In Eswatini, same-sex relations are not only highly stigmatised but also illegal. As a result, many people don’t access health services for fear of prosecution, leaving them vulnerable to HIV. Adam found out he was HIV-positive in 2008 but did not seek medical help until five years later, when his health condition was critical. It can be hard to accept an HIV diagnosis, but deciding to start treatment as soon as possible is very important in order to keep HIV under control and stay healthy.

About the author

This interview was conducted by Pinty Dludlu, a citizen journalist from Eswatini.

Video edits by Julia Dotras.

Stories for Change

‘Stories for Change’ is a series of real-life stories of stigma and discrimination, developed in collaboration with citizen journalists from Malawi, Zambia and Eswatini.

Find more stories here.