Kimberly Vrudny

Archive for the ‘Treatment Action Campaign’ Category

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.

Participant 23

In 30/30 Participants, South Africa, Treatment Action Campaign on August 12, 2010 at 2:45 am

Among other roles, “Participant 23” works as a TB coordinator for TAC. More than anything, she wishes to be a healthy mother to a healthy baby.

Originally I am from Eastern [Cape] from the place called Butterworth. I was diagnosed HIV+ in 2002 when I was having TB of the pulm for the second time. At that [time] my CD4 was 39, and I had to start ARVs. I started ARVs on 13 of April in 2002. Two months after my CD4 was 90. I felt good. In 2004 towards the end I decided to get pregnant because my CD4 was very high at 880. My doctor advi[s]ed me to do the papsmear and CD4 and viral load for my pregnancy. I was referred to Hanover Park. That [is where] I delivered an HIV negative boy from the weight on 4.2 kg [9.25 lbs.]. I was working at the hospice in 2003 up to 2005. It’s where I’ve noticed that I have to work closely with HIV client[s] to give them the education and information that the community need[s] outside. In terms of stigma and discrimination I didn’t experience anything. I experienced lots of side effect because AZT, 3TC, Effavirenz. When I decided to get pregnant & was [switched] from Effavirenz to Nevirapine. Currently I am working for TAC since 2006 for the integration of TB and HIV clinic as a TB coordinator. I am good, healthy and my CD4 is 940. I want to s[t]ay a healthy mom to [a] healthy baby. Let’s come together and fight this epidemic. Alluta || continua || Amandla

Participant 24

In 30/30 Participants, South Africa, Treatment Action Campaign on August 12, 2010 at 2:30 am

"Participant 24" goes to clinics for TAC to share information about how to prevent HIV. She believes the South African constitution secures the "right to adequate healthcare."

Originally I am from Eastern [Cape] in the place called Carth-cart. I am 46 years of age. I started to know about my status in 1999. In 2001, I started my ARVs Effavirenz, AZT, 3TC. I had experienced asthma and I had TB and asthma. I joined TAC in 2000 as an activist. Now I am doing Prevention Treatment Literacy at the clinics and I joined the P-WA sector within TAC. Also I [am] participating at the women’s sectors as a chairperson. I know how to challenge the denialists of HIV. As [our] constitution says, “We have a right to adequate healthcare.” I know HIV treatment literacy and [challenge] the homophobia in our community. I am doing workshops, education within the community. To be an activist—it means a lot to me. Currently my CD4 is 775, but I started ARVs when my CD4 was 179. My concern is only asthma. I don’t worry about HIV. Alluta Continua!! Amandla.