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Mpilo

Living with this chronic condition undoubtedly has its calm waters and turbulent storms; but it doesn’t define who you are

Portrait of a mid adult male.
Photo credit: ©iStock/JGalione. Photos are used for illustrative purposes. They do not imply health status or behaviour.

First being diagnosed feels like you have been given a life sentence. You feel isolated and alone. You are left within the whirlwind of your thoughts and emotions. It is a mental and emotional rollercoaster of coming to terms with the new reality that you have HIV.

Though it can be seen as a life sentence in terms of it being a lifelong medical condition, you remain free. This is one of many chapters in your life; with much of the journey and its conclusion still to be written. It is a new chapter and a new beginning of self-awareness, individual purpose, and happiness.

Living with this chronic condition undoubtedly has its calm waters and turbulent storms; but it doesn’t define who you are. You have the power to chart your course, on your journey through life. That being said, turn living with HIV from a perceived weakness into a strength.

Recognize it for what it is, but also have the realization that it brought forth positive change in your life. I know this to be true because I too am HIV-positive. With one step forward at a time, let us enjoy this journey together.

What we say

Finding out you are HIV-positive can be a shock at first and trigger some difficult feelings and emotions. But with the right treatment and support, you can look after your health and live a long and full life. Having a positive mental attitude really helped Mpilo to come to terms with having HIV – as he says, being diagnosed is just the start of a new chapter.

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These personal stories have been submitted to us anonymously by individuals who use our site. Some of the stories have been edited for clarity purposes and names have been changed to protect identities.

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  • Last updated: 22 March 2022
  • Last full review: 01 March 2022
  • Next full review: 01 March 2025
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