37 years of HIV living amongst Kenyans, challenges surrounding the strange diseases turned epidemic are still loud and yet to be overtaken by time. Stigma and discrimination are among the challenges facing those living with the virus. As the world celebrates World Aids Day. A 23-year-old Nakuru lady narrates how HIV Aids stole the family they once had.
When her brother was 2 years old their father moved out to marry another wife. Their mother in an act of revenge turned to drinking. It's through excessive drinking that she engaged in reckless sexual life leading to a fourth pregnancy and HIV.
Unlike other children who are born to positive parents but are negative, Ryan was unlucky. He was born positive. Stella was the new mother as her mom faded away from the virus and drinking. Every morning she helped his brother take the ARVs faithfully. Her mother would then go away to God knows where.
She months later came back pregnant again. "My mom was becoming unbearable, caring for my brother who was HIV positive was difficult, and seeing her expectant was heartbreaking. I had to drop out of school to work and see to it that my new family ate. Our dad when he learned that mom was HIV positive never looked back. I was the father and mother," She narrated.
"On the last days of her pregnancy mom was confined and it helped my youngest brother be born negative. Mom died in 2020 a year after delivering and a new chapter of our problems began," she added.
After her mother's death, their father chased them out of their home. Having nowhere to go, she gave out her sick brother to the children's home. She says she misses him and regrets the decision to date. She doesn't know which home he is in and is not allowed to visit.
With teary eyes, she urges those living with HIV to take the disease with objectivity and protect innocent children from suffering for their sins.
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