The courage to bounce back – stories of resilience in the face of HIV and AIDS

Mwanja Ng’anjo and Mary Chivasa from Idasa GAP interviewed four HIV-positive women who belong to the Youth Network Southern Africa, HIV Support Group in Makapanstat, in South Africa’s North West province. These women are overcoming feelings of shame, denial, worry and anger and are determined to face their challenges. Counselling has proved to be a common source of strength for the women. Through sharing their experiences with trained counsellors and sharing their stories in support groups they have managed to face their fears. Through acquiring more information about HIV and AIDS, the women have taken it upon themselves to educate those around them even though their message is not always well received. Family structures have given them a sense of purpose. ARV treatment has given them the tenacity to fight their illness and made it possible for them to show others that it is possible to carry on living after being diagnosed with HIV.
The women also said that much still needs to be done with regards to income-generating projects for those who are affected and access to clinics that provide testing and ARV treatment needs to be improved in remote areas.


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