Act against Aids

World Aids Day 2018: Know Your Status!

Read what Newlands Clinic patient and Zvandiri mentor Maximina Jokonya has to say on knowing your status!

When I was younger, I was always sick. By the time I was 13, I became quite ill. That’s when my sister took me for an HIV test, which came back positive. I spent the next two and a half years so sick I was unable to walk. It felt as though my dreams and future were shattered. But now I would describe myself as an unstoppable young leader.

I decided to turn my background – being born with HIV - into an opportunity of hope, to live happily and be able to take chances in life.  I always hear people say, “You can change your life despite your background, what you are going through will pass with time, you are going to be this great person.” But all this never made sense until l decided to a life without limits by knowing my status.

Being tested early did not only save my life but gave my dreams and vision a chance. Psycho-social support and early therapy, blanketed with so much love, compassion and warmth l received from Newlands clinic staff paved the way to new possibilities.

Give yourself a chance by making the right choices in knowing your HIV status and get ready for a positive change. Antiretroviral therapy and social support have been a miracle to me as I lead a normal life that in itself has become a revelation of hope to others. I am a living testimony, why not you! Know your status early!

Photo credit: Christoph Engeli, MMS Symposium 2018 in Basel

#WorldAidsDay #KnowYourStatus