HIV/AIDs is still a major epidemic in the world especially Africa. Many people die daily and as a result, children are left orphaned and homeless. Through WHO, they are taken care of and those who are infected, are helped.
Well, although many fear revealing their HIV status, there are a few who are brave and courageous to do so and 18-year-old South African girl, Saidy Brown is among them.
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Saidy recently caused a stir on social media after she tweeted about her status.
“WHEN I FOUND OUT AT 14 THAT I WAS HIV-POSITIVE, I DIDN’T THINK I WOULD LIVE TO SEE 18, I AM TURNING 22 THIS YEAR.”
This saw many reshare her tweet and praised her for being courageous and coming out to publicly disclose her status. The 18-year-old activist who has never shied away from the reality always posts about her status and HIV-related articles on her Facebook about.
“HIV IS A VIRUS YA BATHO…YOU DON’T HAVE TO FEEL INFERIOR BECAUSE OF YOUR STATUS.
NEVER BE ASHAMED OF HAVING IT IN YOUR BODY, BUT MAKE IT SHAMEFUL FOR BEING THERE.
FIGHT IT IN THE ONE WAY YOU WILL WIN,
TAKE YOUR TREATMENT AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL SELF.
FORGIVE YOUR PAST.
AND LIVE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE LIKE YOU HAVE JUST BEEN BORN.
LIVE!!!!” READS ONE OF HER POSTS.
Here are some of her photos:
Well, after tweeting about her status, Saidy Brown’s courage saw many HIV victims come out publicly (some for the first time) to share their stories as well.
Saidy who is hopeful about having a family one day, revealed how she found out that she was positive and here is what she said during an interview
“WHEN I WAS 14, I WENT TO A YOUTH DAY EVENT TO REPRESENT MY SCHOOL. AT THE EVENT, THERE WERE PEOPLE WHO DO HIV TESTS, COUNSELING AND EVERYTHING ELSE.
WHEN WE GOT THERE, THEY ASKED US IF WE WOULD LIKE TO TEST. I WAS ONE OF THE PEOPLE WHO GOT TESTED. THAT’S HOW I FOUND OUT.
I WAS SHOCKED, I WAS IN DENIAL, I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT. I WAS ONLY 14 AT THE TIME SO I WAS LIKE: ‘HOW? I’M ONLY 14… I HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING. HOW?’
BUT WHEN I GOT HOME AND TOLD MY AUNT AND SHE WAS THE ONE WHO TOLD ME THAT NO, I’D ACTUALLY BEEN BORN WITH IT. MY PARENTS HAD DIED FROM AIDS-RELATED DISEASES, WHICH I HAD NEVER KNOWN.
MY MUM PASSED AWAY WHEN I WAS 10, MY DAD WHEN I WAS NINE,” SHE TOLD BBC.
Many across the world continue to praise and share Saidy Brown’s story hoping that one day, there will be no more HIV/AIDs patients and deaths.
“I AM FOREVER TALKING ABOUT HIV,BECAUSE I KNOW THAT IT IS A REALITY, WE MIGHT NOT ALL BE INFECTED WITH THE VIRUS, BUT WE ARE ALL AFFECTED. EVERYONE KNOWS SOMEONE WHO KNOWS SOMEONE WHO IS LIVING WITH HIV,SO THERE’S NO USE IN PRETENDING LIKE IT IS JUST SOMETHING WE SEE ON TV OR READ ABOUT IN MAGAZINES. I AM DOING IT FOR ALL THE AIDS ORPHANS WHO ARE ASHAMED TO TALK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO THEIR PARENTS, I AM DOING IT FOR PEOPLE WHO FEEL LIKE PRISONERS IN THEIR OWN BODIES, I AM DOING IT FOR PEOPLE WHO WERE DISOWNED BY THEIR FAMILIES AND SHUNNED UPON BY COMMUNITIES,I AM DOING IT FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE CONSTANTLY BEING SHAMED FOR LIVING WITH HIV,I AM DOING IT FOR MY LATE PARENTS AND I AM DOING IT FOR THE 14 YEAR OLD SAIDY BROWN.”