Thandeka was pregnant when she found out she was HIV positive, then her boyfriend turned violent after the baby was born.
I was diagnosed with HIV when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. When I found out I was HIV positive it felt as if my whole world stopped turning. I wanted to die just there then. I didn’t know how I would tell my family.
On the day I finally told my Mother, I waited until she got home from work. I said to her: “I have good and bad news what do you want to hear first”. She asked for the good news first, so I told her I was pregnant. She asked how far along my pregnancy was (I was 5 ½ months pregnant at the time). She was so excited.
Then she asked about the bad news. I felt as if someone choked me. I explained that I was HIV positive and my Mum broke down and cried for a while but then she dried her tears and said “we will get through this don’t worry my child”.
I gave birth prematurely at 8 months to a baby girl. She too was HIV positive. When I told my boyfriend at the time that I was HIV positive he was adamant that it was not his child. Instead he accused me of sleeping around but I knew that he had been my only partner and I told him he should get tested. He refused to get tested because he said he didn’t sleep around, but he knew that he was HIV positive when we first met.
He never told his family or me because he was ashamed of what they would say. It was then that the abuse started. At first it was a smack in the face then it got a little worse. He gave me a black eye and said it was my fault. Then he beat me so hard with a hockey stick that it broke over my body. I passed out because of the extreme pain. He always said he was sorry. He beat me for the last time when he damaged my jaw—I still don’t have feeling in the bottom right hand side of my lip. After that I swore he will never beat me again and he has not.
My life and my daughter’s go on with the support of my family and the Lord my God. I can only truly say that through prayer he has given me strength to go on. Some people think HIV is a death sentence but I hope my story shows you that it can be beaten.
*The name of the author has been changed to protect her identity.
Tell us what you think about Thandeka’s story?