Nontyatyambo - Johannesburg, South Africa
One day I had a dream. I saw myself disclosing in front of a stadium full of people. When I woke up in the morning, I told my mom that I had dreamed this, and she said, “We are going to support you as a family. Definitely can do it.”
That’s the day I started to accept my status, which was the first healing for me. You can take medication, but if you don’t accept your HIV status, you are not going anywhere. I looked in the mirror and I asked myself, “Nontyatyambo, do you want to die or do you want to live?” Something told me, “I want to live.”
Now, when someone approaches me and wants to have a relationship, the first thing I do is explain that I am living with HIV: “I’ve got this little friend in my blood.” I’m in a relationship now and my partner is HIV-negative. Fortunately, she is very supportive and we are so happy.
My step-kids and I have a good relationship. There are three boys. The two older ones know about my HIV status. They are comfortable telling me anything, even things they don’t tell their biological mom.
I want to see them grow. I want to see them experiencing life—without being infected. I’m already talking with the two older ones about sex and sexual intercourse. They must start taking care of themselves now.