What Agnes was not aware of was the fatal risk she had exposed her child to: Between one half and two-thirds of HIV positive children are likely to die of HIV/AIDS within the first 2 years if not treated (Source: Bulletin of World Health Organisation, 2011). Fortunately for Agnes, Mphatso survived. But, as time went by, both Agnes and Mphatso’s health deteriorated. Agnes constantly fought off shingles, headaches, and malaria-like symptoms. She had lost a lot of weight and was often bedridden. Mphatso grew weaker and thinner and complained of body pains.
In September 2016, the Simenti household was visited by One Community’s Community CRP Triza Molen.
“I found her lying on the bed. She could not even wake up to greet me. I conducted HIV risk assessment and counselled her on HIV testing services,” shares TrizaAgnes agreed to be tested and, the following day, a Community Engagement Facilitator (CEF) visited the household to test Agnes and Mphatso.
This time Agnes fully accepted the positive results and both her and her son were immediately linked to treatment.
“Although I sometimes regret not making the right decision early, I am glad that I now know that treatment works. I wish I had a microphone so that I could testify and encourage people to go for testing every day,” Agnes exclaims.
Agnes is now leading a healthy life and is able to take on various farming jobs to provide for her family. Mphatso is also thriving and he is a picture of good health. He now goes to school and has the energy to play with his friends.