- Islanders Magazine


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Friday, 8 July 2016

Woman With HIV Opens Up: I am not HIV, I am Living with HIV

25yrs old Lebogang Brenda Motsumi is an HIV positive mother of one. Brenda is now an HIV activist and working towards an Aids free generation. Read an inspiring post she shared on Facebook:
"Good morning, my name is Lebogang Brenda Motsumi aka African Queen. I am NOT HIV, I am LIVING with HIV. I am not the virus, the virus lives in me. I am not defined by HIV, but I define HIV."
Brenda found out she was HIV positive in 2009 after she read an article by a popular guy whom she dated.
In the article, the man revealed his status and said he was sick. She got tested and was diagnosed with HIV. However, she lived in denial until 2011 when she finally accepted her status on discovering that she was pregnant.
She took ARVs to protect her child. She went back to partying and drinking after the birth of her daughter.
"Since I was not looking sick I thought there was nothing wrong so I went back to living my life until I got very sick in August and I came to the decision that HIV is real and its for me to move on for my family and daughter. It's for me to accept it and live positively.
I then joined a youth support group and I noticed that I wasn't the only one living with HIV as there were also some young people living with it."

Her daughter is HIV negative. She disclosed her status to family and later made it public. Brenda now has a foundation and her message to the youth is "BE SAFE. If you can't stand condoms then ABSTAIN"!

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