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Marking AIDS day with a positive attitude

CELINAH MATSIE

MAFETENG – Christian Health Association Lesotho [CHAL] together with Aids Healthcare Foundation [AHF] celebrated World Aids Day with patients from the Mount-Tabor health centre and the community at the Thabana-Morena constituency yesterday.

World Aids Day is observed every December 1 and this year the theme was “Communities make the difference”.

’Masontaha Dlamini, a nursing officer at Mount-Tabor Health centre, said the day is celebrated to remember all the people who died of AIDS and promote awareness among people who are still in denial that HIV really exists and it affects everyone regardless of their status.

“This year’s theme is aimed at recognising the role that communities have to play in helping to deliver HIV services as it is our responsibility to bring change. The most important thing is to treat people who are infected in an acceptable manner as they have also got rights”.

An inspiration to many young and older people in the Southern African region, 21-year Ts’epang Maboee, a student at the National University of Lesotho who discovered her HIV status when she was 14 narrated her touching story, the challenges she encountered and how she ended up being the brave girl she has become.

“At first it was not easy to open up about my status to everyone as the society that I grew up in was discriminating against me and treating me as if I was a virus unaware that behind that there is someone with feelings and emotions”.

Maboee said she made up her mind that she will become the voice of the voiceless regarding HIV.

“HIV is just a virus and I am way above it, I will not allow it to dictate my future, I am going to shine all the way”, she asserted.

Maboee pleaded with young people to test for HIV and if ever they are infected they should start using the treatment pills which she refers to as “jelly pops”.

CHAL management, AHF director, ‘Mapaballo Mile and her staff, the Mount-Tabor health center clinic management and staff together with part of the Assemblies of God congregation were present to celebrate this special day.

All the HIV patients who are doing well on their treatment were given presents to encourage them to stick to treatment.

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