Get Informed Topics HIV HIV Treatment

Hadassah’s HIV status.


“She was bright and full of ambition.”

I once had a friend called Hadassah. At fifteen, she joined High school. She lives in Nairobi. Being in a new place was not easy for her, but she was bright and full of ambition. With time, she made two friends, Sheila and Emily, who were so sweet. The 3 of them grew so close, and this friendship helped them navigate school as newcomers until they eventually got the hang of being in a new environment.


The fall-out

Hadassah’s performance in school was always excellent. On the other hand, her two friends did not do as well as her, and with time, they got jealous of her academic accomplishments. Emily and Sheila eventually stopped hanging out with her, leaving Hadassah lonely and confused. She did not understand why the friends she was so close to were now so distant. This troubled her and she wondered why she even joined the school and whether she would get her friends back if she started performing poorly. However, she continued performing well and soon enough, she made new friends at school.


Bad company, bad morals

Her new friends were not the best company. They always got into trouble, sneaked out of school and engaged in risky behavior such as using alcohol. Initially, Hadassah did not like the idea of sneaking out of school but with the peer pressure coming from her new friends, she gave into the bad habit and soon she was as good at sneaking out as her friends. While outside school, they went to parties where they could easily get drugs like bhang and alcohol. On rare occasions, they would use heroin, which needed needles to be administered and in most instances, these needles were shared. With all this happening, she became less focused on school and her grades dropped.


The test

As time went by, Hadassah started feeling unwell frequently. She went to the school nurse complaining about pain, and the nurse gave her paracetamol which only helped for a while. She eventually decided to go hospital where she got some tests done. She waited a few minutes for her medical results and soon the nurse approached her. The nurse gently shared with Hadassah news that she tested positive for HIV. She immediately started crying, she could not believe the information, but the nurse offered counselling to help her accept her current status and informed her on the importance of taking medication. She slowly accepted the position as time passed and was already on ARV medication.


He was very shocked to realize that his girlfriend was on ARVs.

Eventually, things were going well in school. She had even gotten into a romantic relationship with one of her classmates, Joseph. One day as Hadassah was sitting outside, Joseph came by and wanted to hang out with her but she was not in the mood. Joseph decided to tease her by taking her bag which was not zipped properly. Unfortunately, the contents of Hadassah’s bag fell out and so did her pills. Joseph got a hold of them and saw what they were for. He was very shocked to realize that his girlfriend was on ARVs. By this time, other students had gathered and witnessed what had happened. By evening, all everyone could talk about was Hadassah’s HIV status. Everywhere she went, people stared and whispered. The school also had no counsellor available to support her. Everyone avoided her, and she even considered ending her life at some point.

The School Principal was the rescuer.

The school principal heard what was happening and reached out to Hadassah. She encouraged her to be strong and addressed the school the next day. She informed the students of the effects of their conduct and asked them to have empathy. She asked the students to apologize to Hadassah, and most of them did. Soon, things went back to normal.

My message is that we all have a Hadassah in our lives, and we are obligated to treat her well and care for her. Being HIV positive does not mean that one is worthless, and taking ARVs implies that you are bold.


Top related stories to HIV Treatment

Frequently Asked Questions

Male Body

1 questions

See frequently asked questions on Male Body

All about contraceptives

2 questions

See frequently asked questions on All about contraceptives


2 questions

See frequently asked questions on Relationships

Top Topics

Let's Talk

Facts, tips, stories and common questions

Go to Forum