Kimberly Vrudny

Archive for the ‘Inzame Zabantu’ Category

Participant 10

In 30/30 Participants, Inzame Zabantu, South Africa on August 12, 2010 at 6:00 am

“Participant 10” was tested for HIV only recently, and has disclosed his status to his wife, but not to his daughters. He advises others to protect themselves, and to be tested.

I’m staying in Brown’s Farm (in Siyahlal, an informal settlement). I’m married. I have two children. The first is 15 years old; the second is 8. They are both girls. I was only diagnosed this August [2009]. The first sign was shingles. I went to a private doctor. He said I must come to the clinic to check for HIV. I am still working. The children are in school. I have disclosed my status to my wife. She has been tested, and so far she is negative. The three-month window for retesting is almost here. My wife and I have agreed to use protection to prevent her from becoming infected. At the present moment, only my wife and I know. Even our daughters do not know. They are still too young. . . . Before I knew my status, I was drinking a lot. Since I got the news, I’ve stopped. I don’t know how I got HIV because I am an honest person. I’ve looked after my wife. My only advice is to use protection, and to share any information you have with your spouse. You must trust no one. You must protect yourself.

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Participant 11

In 30/30 Participants, Inzame Zabantu, South Africa on August 12, 2010 at 5:45 am

“Participant 11” describes his situation in Samara, a section of Philippi, where access to food and water are scarce. He is especially concerned about the safety of his daughter.

I am from the Eastern Cape. I’ve been here for four years now; I came to Cape Town in 2005 looking for work. I was employed, and was on treatment in 2005. And I was married. But she was very sick—vomiting, with diarrhea. Her entire body was aching. She was unable to walk. She was not on medication; she did not go to the clinic to see what the problem was. Instead, we went to our church to ask the pastors to pray for her to be healed. But she passed away earlier this year—in June. We have a daughter who will be thirteen years old this year (grade 6). She is staying with me. We are alone now. This is the second month I have been unemployed because of poor health. I was losing my eyesight; I have gone completely blind now. Also, I had terrible pains on the right side of my chest. I went to the doctor to see if it was TB. I am still waiting for the results. I am underweight. We have very little food to eat, and no money. We are staying here in a very poor community. We live in a shack. More than 15,000 people share one tap of water here. Four families share every toilet. The situation is very difficult. The government distributes porridge to try to avoid a famine. When they are able, our neighbors sometimes give us their leftovers. Because I am HIV+, I may qualify for a grant to help subsidize us. We are waiting for the CD4 count to come back to know whether I qualify. But it is taking so long. It is terrible for my daughter. She goes to school hungry. I am worried about her. I’m worried she will be abused—that when I’m gone, people will offer her bread to sleep with her. We have no one to look after us. Can anyone help us? Please, can anyone help us?

Participant 12

In 30/30 Participants, Inzame Zabantu, South Africa on August 12, 2010 at 5:30 am

“Participant 12” works as a nurse in the communities most affected by HIV/AIDS. She speaks of the hope clinics like Inzame Zabantu provide patients accessing its services.

There is nothing as fulfilling as seeing someone smile having arrived at the clinic groaning with pain. I have seen people turn their lives around, walking through the entrance of the clinic on their feet having spent [a] few months of their lives in a wheelchair. Running an HIV/AIDS clinic before the roll out of the [a]ntiretrovirals was depressing but now that the [a]ntiretrovirals are available one is able to say that indeed there is life after an HIV-positive diagnosis. People who were once lost in hopelessness, lost in despair, are now full of hope and that is exactly what keeps them going and getting better day after day.