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Living with HIV- Sonia 20

“People used to believe that HIV can be cured by prayer.”

My name is Sonia, and I am 20 years old from Naivasha. I grew up in a children's home found in Naivasha. We had a mentor who used to guide us, and I would speak to them alone when I was free. She was very supportive and allowed me to ask questions about myself. I always wanted to know about my parents, and she’s the one who told me that my father succumbed to HIV and my Mom died after giving birth to me. This is how I ended up in the children’s home.

My entry into the world

My mother died she lost a lot of blood due to a haemorrhage when she gave birth at home. In the process of giving birth, unfortunately, her blood got mixed with mine even though the midwives knew that my mother was HIV positive. Sadly, my mother passed away two days after giving birth to me, and the only solution that my parents decided was to take me to the children's home.

It hit me hard mentally.

My life in the children's home was good. Since I was HIV positive, I took my medication every day in the morning. I never knew why I was taking these drugs daily but the school nurse who often followed up on me to ensure that I took the medicine later on explained the reason to me and even though this really hit me hard, mentally, I eventually accepted the situation and totally accepted to take the medicines. 

Phase of isolation

My family at the children’s home started avoiding me even during games; they would isolate me. I felt lonely and isolated to the point that I started blaming myself even though I hadn’t done anything wrong. In class, I used to sit alone in my seat and no one ever liked to sit next to me. This went on till high school when I came to understand my status that I was HIV positive. I had no friends since they used to think that they might get infected by being in my company. 

Slight positive change

On campus, my life slightly changed since most of my fellow students understood more about HIV-positive people. We would even share stories and crack jokes together. Though there were some who isolated themselves from me, I didn't think anything negative about my life, I had already learned that I could even survive more years than those testing HIV negative. I focused on my studies and had hopes in life. 

Offering a helping hand

I finally did well in my examinations and finally graduated with my degree in counselling psychology. Now I am a professional counselor, and I can now comfortably counsel the people living with HIV and those going through stigmatization. Learn to live a positive life and you will make it; negative attitude is a barrier to success in life. 


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