Photovoice

HIV Will Not Stand in My Way

Sometimes we are so ungrateful for all that we have, yet many people out there count their blessings each day as they try to make an honest living.

An HIV positive mother of four children is such an inspiration to all. After being told she was HIV positive while pregnant with her last born, her husband refused to support her and their children. She was all alone with her children and it was only the clinic staff who supported her during her difficult pregnancy. She was self- employed and at times business was slow but she is a strong motivated women of Africa, who not only single handed provides for her immediate family but also saves money to send to her family in Cameroon each month and money for her oldest child to do a course in Beauty therapy.

Her biggest fear was waiting for her new born babies PCR result at 6 weeks.

How overjoyed she was when the result came back negative. This result once again gave her hope and made her realise that there is life after being diagnosed with HIV. It all depends on the person what they intend to do with it.

Deaf and dumb but HIV informed, are you?

This guy is 36 years old. He stays at Delamzi Location. This guy was born in a good condition. Later after two years he become deaf and dumb.

He lives with his both parents, his parents noticed later that he is disable they did not take him to school due to his condition and the lack of knowledge, they did not know about the special schools or did not know where to get information to that can help their child.  Although he is disable he manages to do things like any people who are not disabled. He understands with HIV/AIDS e.g. he is practicing the safer sex using the condoms.

Although he is earning the disability grant but he prefers to do piece jobs. We spoke about keeping money in the bank.
He is using the sign language to communicate, if someone does not understand him, he writes down. He learnt writing from another lady who devoted her time to teach him how to write.

His family is very supportive to him, they make sure that he is clean and they also wash his clothes at times as he is doing for himself.

This is a good support by his family.

If one is being supported by his family first that can extend to the community and the whole world doing the “ubuntu” to the closest person.

Backyard Dwellers

Due to the lack of housing many people have been living in horrendous and sometimes extremely dangerous conditions. Backyard dwellers are found in most communities, where families live in Zinc or Wendy Houses. They are often forced to pay huge amounts for rent each month to the house owner.

This family have been living in her sister’s backyard for the past 5 years. She went to the City of Cape Town’s Housing Department some years ago and due to the long waiting list, did not put her name down. They were promised homes in the Newfields but nothing materialized.

The family survives on a disability grant and her husband is unemployed. He helps by selling socks and small items. They have 5 children. The mom has just completed her second time round of TB medication and at present her baby is also being treated. Her brother who lived in the main household died of TB in 2006.

Unless the City of Cape Town Housing Department and our Government seriously looks into the shortage of houses, overcrowding and the lack of ventilation, these major problems could lead to many people being infected with Tuberculosis, especially the very young and the frail.

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this story are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of, and should not be attributed to, TB/HIV Care Association.