Chikondi’s Story-by Carolyn Moore

Hopelessness to Health

“Chikondi” had lost the will to live. She no longer cared enough about herself to take her daily AIDS medications (ARVs), and her health deteriorated. In her despondency, she even turned away from her family. However, things began to turn around for Chikondi the day someone brought her to the Partners in Hope Medical Center.

She was sick enough to be admitted to the inpatient ward that day. Many people were involved in Chikondi’s care during her stay, including the community outreach team called Tigwirane Manja. As they got to know her, she grew to trust them and agreed to their follow-up visits in her home once she was discharged. Going “home” meant moving to her mother’s house, as her husband was not willing to care for her.

The team visited Chikondi regularly, encouraging and teaching her about living positively with her HIV. She now grasps the importance of taking her ARVs each day, and putting into practice their advice on nutrition. Renewed health and strength is now Chikoni’s reality. “We should join hands”, the meaning of the outreach team’s name (in Chichewa), holds significance for Chikondi, as well as for many others living with HIV.