Slindile M., a 14-year-old girl, during our visit confided in us literally:
“I have made a U-turn at the Cemetery”… Her mother died of AIDS when she was two and her father subsequently disappeared. Her aunt also died of AIDS. Slindile, who is also HIV-positive, lives with her brother and three cousins (all AIDS orphans) at her grandmother’s house.
In the summer of 2018, our partner organization had to bring Slindile to the emergency room. As a result of constant vomiting and her refusal to eat, Slindile lost a lot of weight in a very short period of time. When she was admitted to the hospital, she only weighed 12 kilograms and her HI-viral load was 224,000/ml. Her grandmother didn’t understand how these symptoms developed because she was convinced Success was regularly taking her ARV.
It turned out, however, that Slindile had been pretending to take her medication for weeks. After years of taking them, she was disgusted by the large pills and was having trouble with the changes brought on by puberty.
Thanks to our social worker’s quick intervention, Slindile survived. During and since her stay at the hospital, many conversations have been conducted with Slindile with the goal of having her accept the importance of continuing to regularly take her medication and integrating that into her life.
Today, Slindile weighs 35 kilograms, is bright-eyed and happy to be alive. She takes her ARV pills every day. She has even gone back to school and despite a long absence due to her illness, she passed her final exams of the year.