‘I found out I’m HIV-positive two months ago – this is how I found the strength to go on’

(PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/GALLO IMAGES)
(PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/GALLO IMAGES)

Kganya ya Modimo found out she was HIV-positive two months ago. After not feeling well, she went to a doctor to have a few tests done and was shocked when she was advised to test for HIV.

Heeding the medical advice, she tested and found out she was indeed positive. 

Now, she shares her story with us.

"After testing, I immediately got in the taxi, I got home and I shut the door behind me. I broke down in the kitchen. I didn't know how to feel but I was quite broken. I started my treatment the following day, I didn't want to wait another day. I knew I want to live this life," she tells Move!.

Read more: HIV-positive woman on living through the coronavirus pandemic: ‘We shall overcome this’

The 23-year-old from Rustenburg in the North West is studying forensic science and technology at Unisa. She has her whole life ahead of her and refuses to let this diagnosis get her down.

Just two months later, she decided to share her status on Twitter, but before that she built up the courage to tell the person closest to her, her brother.

Kganya ya Modimo shared the screenshot of the WhatsApp text she sent her brother. As someone who is a pillar of strength to her, she could not go without telling him.

"There are no secrets that time does not reveal. My scariest moment was him finding out in some other way. I knew he was going to question my regular clinic visits, so I had to tell him, and I was longing for support from him now that our mother is no more.

“I tweeted it because I wanted to show people there's still hope in 2020, that HIV is not a death sentence but a journey to find your inner strength and discover your new found strength and journey," she says.

It has only been weeks since her diagnosis, but Kganya ya Modimo says she’s glad she spoke out because a huge burden has been lifted. "I feel free and I can do things freely now. After all, we are students of life, we are all here to learn. Learn from your mistakes, circumstances, situations and last, but not least, pray for strength," she adds.

Read more: ‘I’m HIV-positive and this is what I’m doing to protect myself from Covid-19

As she continues this journey, she says she has learnt that her happiness is her hands.

"The first step to accepting and healing is to first forgive yourself. Being HIV-positive is not the end, take it as an adventure to learn and educate others – most of all love, yourself through it all. Being you, loving yourself, being able to wipe your tears, raising your head high, fixing your crown and walking tall must be your superpower," she says proudly.