Kimberly Vrudny

Participant 22

In 30/30 Participants, South Africa, Treatment Action Campaign on August 12, 2010 at 3:00 am

“Participant 22” is a treatment literacy trainer at the TAC offices in Khayelitsha. After trusting traditional healers to cure him, he joined TAC to help get the truth out.

I was born in the Eastern Cape, [in a p]lace called Sterkspruit in the former Tran[s]kie. Then I came to Cape Town in 1990. I have two children girl & boy. She is 8 years and the boy is 2 years old. In 2004 I was diagnosed with HIV on the 7 of August because I was very sick. [I had] shingles, [diarrhea], skin problem[s]. The nurses d[e]cided that I should do VCT [voluntary counseling and testing]. The result came back positive and my CD4 count was 34. I couldn’t believe when they told me that I am HIV positive. I then did not want to go to the clinic as we believe in traditional medicine most of us. I went to Free State where I met the traditional doctor who claim[ed] that he [could] treat & cure HIV & AIDS but I found out that I was not getting better. Instead things were becoming wors[e]. I came back to Cape Town very sick. CD4 of 9. The doctors suggested that I should start ARVs imm[e]diately. I started ARVs on the 8th of March 2005—but I had lots of side effects like [lipodystrophy], peripheral neuropathy, vomiting. But I am happ[i]ly married but my wife is still HIV negative because we take [pre]caution[s] or use condom[s] everytime we [have] sex. In 2007 I did spermwash cause I wanted a child. Now my 2 year old son is also HIV negative. My message is that living with HIV & AIDS is not the end of the world. I make sure that I protect my partner and adhere to my treatment correctly. I am a treatment literacy trainer in Khayelitsha. Now my CD4 count is 388 & the viral load is undetectable.

  1. Wow! I had no idea spermwash was an option for HIV patients. Thanks for sharing this perspective and enlightening story.

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