I have lots of responsibility. I’m the oldest and look after a younger brother, sister and my Aunts son who is 5 - and my baby boy. My Aunt and Mum need to make money – they are in a factory in Krugersdorp, four hours from here.
In 2014 I realised I have HIV positive status, I went to the clinic for tests and since then I have been taking medication, I was 18. I am wary of people being judge-y. Before I felt uncomfortable about what people might think, but now I say yes I am living with HIV and that is fine.
My baby (Goitsimang) was 7 months when mothers2mothers came – Ayanda, a Peer Mentor from there, explained mothers2mothers is a club that encourages young mothers in how to raise their children with a healthy lifestyle.
Ayanda explained it’s important to keep taking the medicine so I can’t pass HIV to my child whilst I’m breastfeeding. Also eating healthy food and exercise. It helped me a lot to understand having HIV is not the end of the world – being positive is not like being sick, as long as you take your medicine very well. I can share everything with her. If things are hard I can talk to her and feel more comfortable and happy.
I enjoy speaking to other mums. We help each other. I am someone without a lot of friends so mother2mother is also friendships – I go out of the house and meet people. Now I have gained back my confidence, I smile every day and I feel happy when Ayanda comes with toys, or I go to playgroup.
Last month Goitsimang had a test for HIV and I was so proud that I did something good. He is negative. My child will grow up healthy.