Shamiso, which means miracle in Shona, is five years old. Her mother Prisca was diagnosed with HIV in 2008. Prisca became pregnant in 2011 and shortly after, she joined MSFâs Prevention Mother to Child Transmission program (PMTCT). Shamiso was born HIV negative.
" I followed all the instructions I was given, but I still thought my child would be HIV positive. I had lost all hope but I got assistance and through that, I was able to give birth to an HIV negative child. I was so excited when Shamiso tested negative, " she says.
Now five years later, Shamiso is a healthy, strong willed, happy, child. She lives together with her mother and her cousin. Her father passed away a couple of month ago in June 2016. Her teenage cousin has come to live with the family with them so she can help with Shamiso and the household chores. Prisca says looking after a child on her own has been difficult. "If I get food, often itâs only enough for my daughter, so I always make sure she eats first and has something to take to school. My priority is to feed my child, " she adds, looking through the door outside to Shamiso as she plays outside. Prisca, 44, joined the Epworth HIV program in 2011. Her daughter Shamiso, was born while her mother was part of MSFâs Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission program (PMTC). As a result, Shamison was born HIV negative.
"With my first husband, I did not have children, even though we were married for a long time. When he was tested for HIV and turned out to be HIV positive, I left him. I was tested for HIV in 2008 at Epworth Clinic. At that time, because of the stigma, I didnât tell anyone including friends, I would not discuss it.
"I managed to get counselling at the Clinic to understand the illness but it was a private thing. I met my current husband there and we tried to have a baby as he also did not have children yet. Then when I fell pregnant in 2010, I told the staff.
"I followed all the instructions I was given, but I still thought my child would be HIV positive. I had lost all hope but I got assistance and through that, I was able to give birth to an HIV negative child.
"I was so excited when Shamiso tested negative, " she adds.
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