Affected by HIV

Death, l have always viewed you differently and always will. Dozens of people in my life have become a mere memory because of you. I will not generalize on this death issue but will be specific as to the death l speak of because millions across the world have not only been infected but like me, have been affected by HIV.

Being orphaned, losing siblings as well as relatives by this pandemic has transformed my outlook on life. My mind ponders on how different life would have been if HIV did not exist! It is agonizing to look on as one of your blood suffers through this incurable disease. Yes, there are those that have chosen to tackle the situation head on and are ultimately living positively. Kudos to them for having such courage!

Sadly, for some of my blood, the opposite is quite true for they have denied their status despite numerous tests being run all with the same result. This vehement denial led to their death, leaving me with big black holes in my life that can never be filled up again. One of my blood has found it quite difficult to accept their status due to preceding circumstances that led to him being affected.

What can l do to help? How do l help shift mindsets in such scenarios? All these are questions that run through my mind as an outsider.

How is it that it would seem as if my family has been the hardest hit by this pandemic? To me it seems like we have been targeted. That’s just how l feel at the moment.

Lord, please tell them that they are still needed now more than ever for l cannot bear another loss. No, I cannot. All l can do is hope for the shifting of the mind for my blood. I just have to continue supporting, loving and praying all at the same time.

Infected and affected, both have the same effects – well to me, that is. Pain and loss are the epicentre of it. Despite these tragic losses, l have made a personal pledge to show love and compassion to those infected and affected, encouraging one smile at a time, tackling it one day at a time as we move towards eradicating this disease and everything associated with it from the face of the earth!

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