Christa S is 24-year-old women living in Braam fisher, Orange Farm, a settlement outside Johannesburg. She is a mother of one who found out she was HIV-positive during her pregnancy in 2010. She visited the Itireleng clinic in March 2013 when she was 24 weeks pregnant to make sure that she accessed treatment early to protect her baby. She has not told her partner or her family of her status.
“My mother does not like the subject of being HIV-positive. I didn’t tell my new boyfriend as I was afraid of losing him and I am not working. He refused to go for an HIV test. I didn’t want to have sex because I was afraid to infect him but he forced himself on me. I bought the morning after pill because I didn’t want a baby but it didn’t work and now I am pregnant.”
When she arrived at the clinic Christa was very nervous but after hearing the group talk and talking to Orange Babies Educator Patricia, she said she felt better informed and resolved to disclose to her boyfriend and to be adherent to treatment. She is worried about how he would react to her disclosure.
Orange Babies Educators support women
Elsie F lives in Soweto, Johannesburg. She went to Zola Clinic in February to book as she was 12 weeks pregnant. She was tested for HIV and was shocked to find out that she was HIV-positive. Elsie confided in Rosalie the clinic's Orange Babies Educator that her life has been a difficult one – being raped by her mothers’ boyfriend when she was just 8-years-old, and later repeatedly by her step father while her mother refused to help, “my Mother did not save my life instead she just hated me”
Things got so bad for Elsie, who was without help, and with no one to talk to she was admitted to a hospital in a coma for a whole year in 1998. The father of her unborn baby never knew her status as he died before she was aware of it herself.After getting information and support at the clinic from Rosalie, Elsie felt more prepared and able to face the future. She says she is looking forward to her baby and will continue to get advice and support when she visits the clinic, “if all the clinics could have the heart of our educator people would be happy at the end”.
Orange Babies Educators support women every step of the way
Philly is 30 year old woman living with her three children and partner in an informal settlement in Soweto, both are unemployed. She got pregnant in 2012 and subsequently found out that she is HIV-positive. Both Philly's parents are dead and she lives in a small shack with her boyfriend. Philly feels she cannot disclose her status to him as she fears that she will lose her children and her shelter. Throughout her pregnancy she has come into the Zola clinic for advice and to speak to Rosalie the Orange Babies Educator. This included among other things how to safely breastfeed her baby and ensuring that the baby received the correct treatment.
Six weeks after delivery Philly brought the baby in for PCR testing which con firmed that the baby is HIV-negative and as she intends to exclusively breastfeed for six months the baby will be retested for HIV at six months, and again at 18 months.
Philly says she is very grateful for how Rosalie has helped her to protect her baby and for her being there for everyone, especially when they come for the first time to the clinic not knowing anything.