Malethibela Mkintane from Lesotho tested HIV-positive in 2010. She says even though she was incooperative Mentor Mothers were very patient and supportive, and never gave up on her. She learned in the m2m support groups that she was not the only one living with HIV.
My name is Malethibela Makintane and I am thirty-one years old. I tested HIV-positive in March 2010. I took the test because of my ill health. At that time, my CD4 count was 32 and I was immediately enrolled in ART. Unfortunately I defaulted on my treatment, due to my ignorance and lack of understanding that ARVs, like any other drugs, also have side effects. I had developed a rash, and because of that, had decided to stop taking my treatment. Worse still, I was not even eager to seek medical help, and foolishly stayed at home hoping the rash would heal itself.
During this time, I fell pregnant and did not go to the clinic to seek antenatal services, because I knew that I will be persuaded to take ARVs again, something I was trying to avoid. As a result, I delivered my baby at home.
After delivery, I took my baby to the clinic, and that is where I met with m2m staff at Sekameng Health Centre. They talked to me, and encouraged me to check my CD4. They were very patient and very supportive, though I was not cooperative. They did not give up on me, and they eventually invited me to the m2m support group.
In the support group meetings, I learnt that I am not the only one living with HIV, and I also learnt that I can still live positively with my status. The support and encouragement that I got from m2m staff influenced me to know the HIV status of my child. I am prepared to accept any results that may come out, because I have knowledge of HIV/AIDS issues because of mothers2mothers.
I would like to thank mothers2mothers, because today I am able to talk to women about the importance of taking a HIV test, and adhering to the treatment.