This saying is becoming more and more relevant to us all. Recently a Numsa staff member lost her sister to AIDS. Before her sister passed away, Numsa News asked her and her sister how they were coping with AIDS. This is what they wrote.
From the sister:
I am 28 years old. I am living with HIV/AIDS. I only discovered that I was positive in January 2002 after I lost my baby boy who was only two months old. The father of my child broke up with me for about two years and then came back to me to ask for forgiveness. We then stayed together from March 2001 so I think I have had the virus for about two years. He then stopped visiting me after I went to my parent's house when it was time for my baby to be delivered. He does not even know the baby, he didn't attend the funeral of the baby even though he was told about everything.
I am happy because I have a mother, two sisters, one brother and a brother-in-law all of whom are very supportive.
I am eating boiled vegetables, boiled fish, liver, fruit, brown rice, tuna with raw tomatoes and boiled eggs. No sugar, no salt, no fat, plain yoghurt and lots of water. I exercise every day. My advice is find a person whom you trust so that you can get help, talk about it with people around you, attend group discussions with HIV positive people.
And from the Numsa staff member:
I work for Numsa. I have a sister living with HIV/AIDS. At first when we were told she is positive, we were all shocked. We cried but we attended counselling and slowly we started to accept it. We give her a lot of love. She has a lovely boy of seven years. She stays with me and I look after her financially because my mother is unemployed and my sister has never worked before.
Numsa would like to extend its deepest condolences to this Numsa staff member and her family as well as others that have suffered similar losses this past year. If you would like to share your pain and your experience of "living with AIDS", write to us at Numsa News, P.O. Box 260483 , Excom 2023. And if you need advice on HIV/AIDS matters write to Selinah Tyikwe , gender co-ordinator, Numsa, PO Box 260483 , Excom 2023 or phone her on (011) 689 1700. Or speak to your local or regional Numsa HIV/AIDS co-ordinator (if there is one.)
Numsa has recently entered into a partnership with the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) so if you need any advice on treatment for HIV/AIDS, contact cde Selinah and she can put you in contact with TAC.