"It was June 16, Youth Day. An NGO came to my school to educate us about HIV. Someone asked me if I wanted to take a HIV test. Being young and innocent, I agreed. My result came back positive. I could not understand it because I had never had sex.
"That’s when I found out what killed my parents: they both died from HIV-related diseases. Because they both passed when I was so young, I didn’t know what killed them. I was born HIV positive.
"I was living with my aunt but I was too afraid to tell her that I was HIV positive because I was scared that she would judge me. I was confused and emotional. It was too much for a 14-year-old girl. I recall asking myself if my life was a curse or a punishment. I eventually told my maths teacher and we both told my aunt. She confirmed that my parents had died from AIDS.
"Although it is painful knowing that I am the only one in the family living with HIV, my mind is at ease just knowing that my siblings are HIV negative. And I am glad that I am still alive because some babies who were born with the virus don’t survive. That just goes to show that I was born on this earth for a greater purpose than being HIV positive. Two lines on an HIV test will not bring me down.
"With positive living and my ART, I can still live a long and awesome life. My advice to young people who are living with HIV is that they need to understand that it is not the end of the world."