One Couple's Journey-by Brenda Jansen

"Don't put it off until you're sick"

There was no more denying it anymore...she had to get help.  "Sarah’s" body was ‘screaming’ at her to get to the hospital, to learn the reason behind her weakness and inability to walk or even eat. Her husband helped her get into the mini-bus, and they were on their way to the government hospital. It was there that they learned she was HIV positive. Unfortunately, there was no pre-test counseling done, so they weren’t prepared for this surprising news.

Sarah remained in that hospital for the next two weeks, and then transferred her care to the Partners in Hope Medical Center. She recalls her fears being eased as she went through classes to learn about life with HIV, and the medication regimen that she would need to begin. What could have been overwhelming actually infused hope in her mind, that she might reach the point of health and normalcy again. She thought of Job in the Bible, who suffered greatly, but with hope.

Sarah’s husband, "Chisomo", has also learned that he is HIV positive. They have been on this ‘journey’ together and, to observe their apparent health and strength, one would never guess that they have AIDS. When asked to share a message that they would want people to hear, Chisomo said, “Many people suffer from HIV. Without ARVs [AIDS medications], we would have remained very sick.” I would add that it’s possible they wouldn’t be alive today. Sarah added, “I encourage people to get tested. Don’t put it off until you’re sick.”