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Mariana - It’s great to share what we have in our hearts

Image of a Hispanic woman in an urban setting looking to camera
Photos are used for illustrative purposes. They do not imply health status or behaviour.

It’s great to have platform like this to share what we have in our hearts. My name is Mariana. When I tested for HIV I was 19 years old and I still lived with my parents.

When the doctor brought me my test result I thought I was okay because I’d already counselled myself about the possible outcome. I can’t say I was shocked but I felt something electric pass through me when he said, ‘Miremba, you’re HIV positive’. He couldn’t counsel me because I didn’t show any signs of being scared. I just told him that it was okay, that’s how God planned it. I can’t change the result – I’ll just go and start treatment.

When I got home I didn’t tell my parents but at work I told my boss who directed me to where I could get antiretroviral treatment. My parents only got to know about my status when my dad found my medication, Life was okay though my parents were disappointed that their little firstborn was HIV positive. I took my medicine as I was told to do and my CD4 count was good [high].

Sometime after I started treatment I got a boyfriend but I didn't tell him my status. We lived together and I became pregnant. I lost my baby at three months and that's when my boyfriend found out about my status. He didn't react at first but later he ended the relationship – at that point I felt more stigmatised than ever.  

However, we got back together and I got pregnant again. I thank God that I didn’t transmit HIV to either him or my baby but I have found it hard sticking to my medicine at times. I’m on it now and my health is good. I still worry about my responsibilities but I know that taking my medicine is the best thing I can do to stay healthy, look after my baby and move life on.

Mariana was brave and thought that she could handle her new diagnosis herself. She did well to tell her boss and get on treatment as soon as possible. It can take time to get used to a positive diagnosis and although she’s had some ups and downs with taking her treatment she’s now taking it regularly and staying healthy.

*These personal stories have been submitted to us anonymously by individuals who use our site. Some of the stories have been edited for clarity purposes. Some names have been changed to protect identities.        

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Last updated: 26 September 2019