Joanna Kasirori speaks about how she tested positive for HIV in 1989 when her late husband was terminally ill at Parirenyatwa Hospital.
Joanna said at that time, she kept the secret between herself and her husband.
Her husband was very sick and had lost weight.
Joanna said when her husband died she was a student at the teachers college in Harare. She had 3 children at the time and kept it as a secret.
Joanna said she was careful with her husband.
In 2004 she was sick with TB and then she disclosed to her sister. Her sister asked her to get tested for HIV and disclosed to her sister that she was HIV positive.
She was put on a TB treatment for the weekend. She got pills at Nazareth Hospital. She received 32 pills. She was advised to take those pills with Mahewu.
After a week, she was feeling better.
Her TB got treated and she got healed. There was a lot of discrimination because of the hair (perm).
After eight months she was put on ARVs.
At Wilkins hospital, there was a waiting list, with some people dying in the queue.
When she informed her sister, she didn’t reveal it to anyone. Her mother asked her to be brought home.
Her mother kept her and said she was still her daughter. She also informed her brother who helped her with buying the ARVs.
After some time MSF started giving her ARVs.
The schools she worked include Fatima, Mbizo, Glen Norah High 2. At Glen Norah High 2 she informed the headmaster and other teachers.
All of them accepted her illness. It was a unique school. Some of the teachers would teach her classes on her behalf.
Some parents refused to let her teach their children.
After a while the parents accepted.
She is now a headmaster (TIC), at a sattelite school.
She has now formed an organization called Pan African Women’s organization.
Joanna said women are the first to be tested, and when the husband is informed there are issues such as divorce or domestic violence.
Joanna said girls should not rush to be married. They should get to know their boyfriends before getting married. This improved communication.
Please watch the video above this post for more details.