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HIV Positive Mum Who’s Lived With The Virus For Over 24 Years Shares Her Amazing Story

HIV Positive Mum Who’s Lived With The Virus For Over 24 Years Shares Her Amazing Story

In an exclusive interview with PunchMetro, Roselyn, who is a mother of two, and has been living with HIV for over 24 years, shares her experience after she found out she was HIV in her 8 month of pregnancy. She hopes that her story and experience will encourage and positively touch lives.

Read her story below….

“I did not know that the man I was going out with was HIV-positive, though I knew that he had haemophilia — a genetic disorder that prevents the blood from clotting when someone is injured. I only got to know that my partner had HIV after I became pregnant and started attending antenatal. That was in March 1992 when I was already eight months pregnant. No news could be more devastating for any expectant mother! But I kept the information to myself, as I was only concerned about having the baby and moving on with my life. That was 24 years ago. As at that time, not much was known about the effects of HIV on a pregnant woman. But I got to know the seriousness of my challenge when all the medical staff that attended to me during delivery treated me with disdain: they all wore masks and other paraphernalia. It was as if they were attending to Ebola patient!

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The attitude then was, ‘Keep quiet and don’t tell anyone else’. Indeed, it was a period of intense confusion and regrets, because I did not have any information about my syndrome, while the doctors were as scared as I also was! After the birth of my child, I felt like killing myself. By that time, I had packed up the relationship with the man that infected me, so I was a single mother. Somehow, my friends got to know about my condition and many of them forsook me. In fact, many thought I became HIV-positive because I was a prostitute! In any case, I got the courage to enroll in the hospital, where I was receiving drugs, despite the long stares that trailed me whenever I entered the hospital. When I wanted to have my second baby, I opted for artificial insemination, to prevent him from becoming HIV-positive. My new partner was HIV-negative, though. And because HIV was relatively new then, my doctors told me I had just about 10 years to live. So, I was conscious of death all the time, which was very scary. Mercifully, by the early 2000s, HIV treatment had changed. Medications are now available, and I was healthy. Better still, people have become more aware that the infection is no longer a death sentence. So, if you are HIV-positive, don’t lose hope. Take the right steps by visiting the nearest hospital. No one should die of AIDS this time around.”

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