HIV positive mother tells her story of giving birth to a negative child
SHE is HIV positive, a mother of three with her last child born negative despite her positive status and also has an HIV negative partner by her side.
Five years ago Dineo Minky Mosinyi, 34 Nlapkhwane from tested positive and in March the same year she enrolled for the Anti retroviral therapy.
Immediately after starting her ARVs, Mosinyi was approached by her present boyfriend who started proposing love.
For months she resisted, but the gentleman would not take no for an answer.
“I told him that I can’t be involved in any relationship and he said he knew why and did not care. I don’t know how he knew about my status but that did not bother him as he persisted, his patience finally paid off for him as I gave in. He is the father of my third child, who is four years old and HIV negative”, she revealed.
Mosinyi’s child is amongst thousands of HIV negative children born to positive mothers thanks to the successful PMTCT programme which is meant to prevent the spread of the virus from infected mothers to their babies.
As Botswana joined the world in commemorating World Aids Day on Wednesday President Khama revealed that of the 97 percent infants born to positive mothers are free of the virus.
“I am happy and grateful that I did not infect my child,’’ she said as she shared her story of positive living, love and being stigmatized.
And when asked about her last pregnancy Mosinyi said: “It was a mistake, the condom burst when we were having intercourse. I really don’t know how it happened but I think he had not put it on properly. These days I actually help him wear the condom as I am no longer shy as I was back then”, said Mosinyi.
She revealed that when the condom burst she was engulfed by guilt and fear that she had infected her partner but love conquered the fear and the guilt as again her man seemed not bothered. It later turned out through tests that he had not been infected.
The bursting of the condom however turned out to be a blessing in disguise as that month she missed her monthly period.
“I broke the news to my boyfriend and to my surprise he was so overjoyed telling me that he was more than ready to welcome our baby into this world.
However when the news of her pregnancy started spreading rounds in the village, her boyfriend became a laughing stock. This seemed to be a burden heavy for him to bear as he disappeared for months.
“People asked him why and how he was in love with a HIV positive woman, and he withdrew for a while only to resurface in the eighth month of my pregnancy. When he came back he said he was a fool to desert me. I accepted him back because I understood the situation and loved him with all my heart”, she said.
Despite the couple being together for four years and having a negative child together, Mosinyi revealed that she is still stigmatized by her boyfriend’s family and relatives.
“They still question why he is in love with someone who is sick and to make matters worse he is only 24 years old. People suggest that I forced myself on him and when I tell him that its better for us to part ways he refuses to hear any of it”, she said.
Meanwhile Mosinyi who was crowned Miss HIV Stigma Free, a beauty pageant which was organized by Youth Health Organisation (YOHO) said she entered the pageant because she wanted to be the voice of those who are living with HIV/AIDS.
“I wanted to be an example and a role model for everyone, because if you are not infected, you are either affected by the pandemic. Being HIV positive is not the end of the road one just needs to accept his/her status, live positively, have a good self esteem and follow all the health advice given”, she advised.
She appealed to all Batswana not to sip dry the self esteem and self worth of those people who are living with the pandemic.
“HIV /Aids is now like diabetes or any other disease, medication is there and as long as you adhere to the instructions and guidelines you will live a normal life. When I started my ARVs my viral load was 72 000 but today its undetectable”, she said.
She was however quick to say this does not mean she has to stop taking her medication.
“I have to take the medication for the rest of my life. The ARVs which I take every 12 hours are meant put the virus to sleep, so if I were stop taking the medication the virus becomes active and more aggressive’, she emphasized.
She also revealed that she is grateful to her boyfriend who is giving her all the support that she needs.
“ My partner accompanies me when I go to the hospital to collect my medication, he makes sure I take them on time and we use protection every time when we have sex so that I don’t infect him.”
Mosinyi reiterated that for all HIV positive women who want to have babies hope is there, but advised them to seek medical help and enroll in the PMTCT program.
“When I was pregnant in 2006 I was put on the programme and have a HIV negative baby like his father,’’ she said with a smile.