Lerato – choosing to live and not die
There is no cure for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), but there are medicines that fight it and help lower the risks of infection. Being diagnosed with HIV in the earlier years seemed like a death sentence due to people’s misconceptions around the virus. The thought of being sick coupled with countless hospital admissions and the fear of death make the diagnosis unbearable. Over time early treatment dramatically sllowed the progression of the disease, and helped prolong life. There are a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be living with HIV. It is no doubt that people handle the diagnosis differently – how each individual copes is dependent on the unique character traits. Read Lerato’s story on dealing with and living with the virus.
Lerato Thoahlane, a 29 year old from Botha- Bothe Lipelaneng, being HIV positive herself, strives to positively impact the lives of those living with virus. She works tirelessly to try and encourage and create a stigma free generation. Falling pregnant at a young age, she also learned she was HIV positive. Dating and making friends became a challenge due to discrimination. Frustration and depression set in. She did not have the courage to disclose her status among her peers for the fear of humiliation and rejection.