(Last Updated on December 1, 2021 by ZIMDAILY EDITOR)
Lilly Napata, a forty year old woman living with HIV explains that her journey of 20 years living with HIV had its own ups and down, adding that her turning point came when she eventually chose to disclose her status.
Being a sound lady, involved in a relationship with a young man who knew his status, yet never disclosed to her, Lilly has had to live with her reality of taking Anti-retroviral drugs.She first discovered her status when she was applying to join the school of hospitality in South Africa and as part of her application, they needed her medical record.
After she found out that she was positive, Lilly explains how traumatic the experience was.
“It was so traumatic I wanted ti throw myself onto a moving car. But I was also scared. My father was not well at that time, and he even died without knowing my status. I was so sick that when I went to live with my brother in Botswana I thought I would die on the bus. But thank God for family, they had to monitor me and make sure I take my medication,” she added.
Later on Queen Lily accepted her life living with HIV she was also successful in dealing with stigma though it wasn’t easy for her at church and the society. She had support from her family and her pastors.
” It took me four years to come into the open. I felt that since i was serving in the ministry a lot, I had to be honest with myself to accept that this is who I am”.
She urged people to be supportive and to avoid stigma and discrimination at all cost.
1 December is World AIDS Day and this year, it was commemorated under the theme “Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s voice.