I was pregnant the first time I got tested for HIV. The nurse encouraged me, saying it was the best decision that I could make for both me and the baby.
I was uncertain about what to expect. But the test was easy. Just small needle prick to my finger.
I made a vow to myself that no matter my results, I would do everything in my power to protect my baby. I didn’t want my child to suffer because of my mistakes.
The results came back as positive. I was sad and scared. What did this mean for me? What would happen to my baby? Would he be sick too?
The nurse reassured me that being HIV wasn’t a death sentence for me - or my baby. I was given ARVs and medication to stop the virus being passed to my baby.
Thanks to all the advice I was given, and my discipline in taking the medication, my son is a happy, healthy, HIV-negative two-year-old.
I’m still the same person I was before I tested positive. But I’m much more careful now when I have sex. I’m seeing someone new and I’ve told him I’m positive. I don’t want to put him at risk.
I think it’s important for those who are negative to stay away from risky sexual behaviour. And those who are positive should accept their statuses, and live in an honourable way that doesn’t put other people in danger. When things look like they’re going to get serious with the person you’re dating, tell them you are positive.
An HIV-positive mother can have a negative baby with the help of ARVs. But only if your pregnancy is carefully monitored by the clinic. They will give you medication and advice on how to keep your baby safe.
This story was written by Tune Me community member.