Inheriting HIV: A bitter pill to swallow

Categories: In The Media.

Sibusiso Soko* is 17 years old and lives with his siblings, cousins and grandparents in Ermelo, Mpumalanga.

He is the only one of his siblings to inherit HIV from his mother, who died from AIDS-related illnesses when he was young.

After what he says was a childhood punctuated by frequent illness, Soko is currently on antiretrovirals (ARVs).

“I have been living with HIV for as long as I can remember,” he tells OurHealth. “I was always sick when I was growing and this meant I spent many days in and out of hospitals.”

“I often had to miss school,” he adds.

Soko was born when South Africa had not yet introduced HIV treatment or prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission services. Due to government’s delays in providing ARVs, about 35,000 children were born with HIV between 2000 and 2005, according to studies by the US Harvard University.

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