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HIVhomegirl 7: Standing in line for my ARVs

Can it get more embarrassing?

HIVhomegirl tested HIV-positive when she was 19 and has been living with HIV since then. This is her story.

The nearest clinic was right in the community close to my house and I had to go every month to collect my ARVs.

This clinic happened to be right on the main street and anybody walking past could see who was waiting. In fact, many in the community enjoyed passing by to check who was in there queuing for ARVs. That’s how it looked to me.

There was just no way I was going to go there.

So every month I took a bus to a further clinic where nobody knew me. I wasn’t ready for everybody to know my status. But because it was such a long trip I missed a few days of my medication sometimes.

Can you imagine this? Here I was in a life crisis, I had a life-threatening virus and yet I was worried sick about what people would think of me.

Then one morning I skipped the bus and walked into the queue. It was one of the important days in my life. I felt I didn't care who was looking, who was trying to claim my life and my freedom. This was the day I felt as if I finally came out totally with my status. I didn’t feel any pressure to do this, it just felt okay all of a sudden.

If you are prescribed ARV treatment, you need to take all the doses. Missing just a few doses a month can mean that your treatment doesn’t work properly, and your HIV may become resistant to the drugs that you are taking.

Has skipping some days put her at risk? Find out in her next blog.

To find out how HIVhomegirl got to this point click on the link below to start her story from the beginning.

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