Hayden Horner
3 minute read
11 Mar 2020
4:07 pm

Spreading the message – ‘HIV doesn’t have to be a death sentence’

Hayden Horner

Nine years after being diagnosed, a Durban mother of three HIV-negative children is proof that the disease does not necessarily have to mean the end of the world.

Loving life! Niqita Pieterse. Picture Supplied

When HIV/Aids was first announced to the world in the 1980s, it was defined by fear, stigma and ignorance. And rightfully so, given the lack of prevention information or treatment available at the time. Fast-forward some 30 years later and it’s evident that in spite of massive strides made, fear, stigma and ignorance are still rife even for individuals with an undetectable HIV viral load. In KwaZulu-Natal, the province with the highest HIV prevalence rate, people still speak in code when referring to the disease and life-prolonging antiretroviral (ARV) medication. It’s common to hear phrases such as amagama amathathu (meaning...