LISTEN: Woman wants to break HIV stigma

LISTEN: Woman wants to break HIV stigma

A woman shared her story about her journey with HIV. 

Blood sample positive with HIV test

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks the body's immune system. If HIV is not treated, it can lead to AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

HIV statistics from UNAIDS reveal that 38-million people globally were living with HIV at the end of 2019. In South Africa, 7.5-million people or 18.7% of the adult population (ages 15-49) are HIV positive, which represents 19% of the global HIV burden.

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In some cases, people do not test themselves for the virus nor do they talk about it to others. 

Rian van Heerden wanted to know why, especially Afrikaans-speaking people, keep it a secret if they have been diagnosed with HIV. 

Many listeners agreed by saying that there is a negative stigma around it - and that it is no one's business if they have it. 

Van Heerden said that the "only way to break this stigma is to talk about it".

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A listener openly spoke about her journey with HIV and how she wants to break the negative stigma around it. 

"The people that love you will accept you," she said. 

She was diagnosed with HIV about 20 years ago.

She continued by saying that there is nothing wrong with it and if you keep healthy and take the daily medication, you "will be fine".

Listen to her story below: 

Tune in to the 'Scenic Drive with Rian', weekdays from 16:00-19:00. Stream the show live here or download our mobile app here.

Image Credit: iStock

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