‘I Want HIV Positive Partner’ says Nzila Kafwimbi of Kitwe

“I would like to get married to someone who is also HIV-positive like me because it will be easier for both us to understand each other.” These are the words of 38-year-old Nzila Kafwimbi of Kitwe, who has been living with HIV for about 10 years now.

A divorcee and mother of a 10-year-old son who is HIV negative and currently in grade six and aware of his mother’s HIV status, Nzila’s story started 10 years ago when she became pregnant in her matrimonial home and was diagnosed with the condition after attending ante-natal clinic.

Her husband would test negative.

“Of course, I cried because I was devastated. Luckily, my husband was very understanding and supportive and encouraged me a lot,” she says, adding that when the pregnancy was at five months, she travelled to Lusaka with her husband where she was started on Nevaripine, for prevention of mother-to-child transmission.

She says initially, only her husband and the medical staff at the clinic she was attending knew about her HIV status and she did not want to tell anyone else then, not even her mother.

When they returned to Kitwe, she continued with the medication until she gave birth to a lovely son. She recalls that it was in 2012 while her mother had travelled to the United States that she started feeling sickly and experiencing weight loss.

She recalled that at the time she first tested HIV-positive her CD 4 count was at 900 so she was not started on any anti-retroviral therapy.

When she went to the hospital and was detained for 10 days and, even though she got started on ART, her weight reduced to about 45kg. It was at that point that she decided to inform her father about her HIV status. Today, most of her close relatives and friends are aware of her HIV status and are all supportive.

Nzila says in 2015, she started facing some problems in her matrimonial home that eventually led to divorce through the courts of law where she won custody of the son. Sadly for her, her husband keeps the son for most of the time, except during school holidays.

“My former husband doesn’t want the boy to stay with me. He is still staying with the boy despite the court order. I wish he knew that his child is my only source of joy. At least I see my son during holidays. Even the boy is always crying that he wants to stay with me rather than stay with his father,” she says.

She says she is happy staying with her parents at the moment and other family members who are very supportive to her and her body weight is now 70kg with CD 4 count is above 900. She is equally glad that she recently took some liver tests with good results.

“I have now told my friends, family members about my HIV status and they are all supportive. I don’t even experience any stigma or discrimination any more, not even at my place of work,” says Nzila who works at a Gemstone shop at Kafubu Mall.

She says at work, she can say with certainty that she is one of the most physically fit employees. She adds that she is living positively and says she would live as long as God wants her to live.

“I advise my brothers and sisters who are living with HIV to ensure that they get their medication and take it on time every day, have a balanced meal every day and have faith in God… then you will also live as long as God wants you to live,” Nzila says.

She is looking forward to getting married again but this time around, she prefers a man who is also living with HIV. That is Nzila’s story. What is your story?

Feel free to tell your story so that together we can fight stigma and discrimination. If you have any information and story to tell about HIV and AIDS, let us share it by writing to: knoxngoma@gmail.com or call/text +260955883143

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