Who am I? My family know me as the Diva, the strongest HIV+ woman they've ever seen. What they don't know is what happens when I switch off the lights and close the door, I suddenly am not so strong anymore. I crumble, I… the real me comes out and the Diva gets to rest. I have buried all the HIV+ women I knew. I feel lonely, scared, abandoned, angry and sometimes confused. I take out my journal and write yet another letter to God. You see, people see the Shero, the Iron lady, the Diva who has everything all together (by everything I mean my ART medication, my job, parenting, helping out friends)....They never see me cry, or scared. I feel the need to be strong all the time. I'm tired of people who understand but don't actually know how it feels. Interacting with you will not replace my friends, but it will give me a platform to vent my frustrations, share my glories, and expose my fears to all HIV+ girls like me. More about Dikeledi: I’m a 25 year old single mother and an IT professional. I was born, bred and buttered in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am a co-founder of a youth group called Direct Devine Connection Club (D2Csquared). I hate seeing other people suffer and try, by all means, with all I have to change our generation one child at a time. I worked with HIV+ women while at university but as soon I moved back home I stopped because my family felt it was shameful to them. I have three great loves: 1) Food, 2) Books and 3) Art. Dikeledi on why she wants to be a part of A Girl Like Me: I have been alone, scared and confused (and still am from time to time) it was my small (3) network of HIV+ women that kept me going. They didn’t do much, they just shared their struggles with me and I shared mine with them. And after their death I made it my mission to help other women with their struggles.
I think we all cry when alone ,for then we can truly cleanse our spirits and regenerate for tomorrow.Thank you for all you do,hugs and love sister
You are not meant to be iron women but that is how you cope. You would do so well in an enviroment that embraces what you have to say. Dont let anyone say that when you talk out it brings shame...the shame is on them for not encouraging you more. I train and test people in all areas of work and when someone stands up and discloses openly about their trials and tribulations it creates a human connection to this disease and is the most powerfull way to teach others. I cannot say I know how you feel but I can say i know how you can make others feel.
im touched and i know what your going through as a single person i just waant to thank you .keep it up and i also want to join some groups cause at my area ive never seen someone whom she say shes hiv positive and i wish to join a support group
Hay diva,Im at Arusha tanzania, with 2 kids,my husband died 6 months ago Itested positive 1 week ago and i was 54 kg today i have 49 kg b/se of family stigma, i loose hope total, but after reading your story in the girl like me, now Ihave good hope.
Hi Dee, believe me i can relate moratuwa, but lately have been battling, i think it's mainly because people always think am this stronger person who can take up any load thrown to me, i always put on a brave face and act infront of everyone. Its ok to cry sometimes, its natural to be in fear.
Thank you Divas I am greatly humbled by your comments.
last week our class held a similar discussion on this subject and you point out something we haven't covered yet, thanks.
when i read your intro it was just what i need
i am hiv+ single mother and it is only a few months now
i feel so scared to tell anyone i am pregant too
i know what you feeling when you swich the light of at nigt
i exsprience the same thing all the time during the day people see me
as a smiling face stong women but deep down inside i am weak
and breaking a little more everyday i don`t realy know how to cope
but after reading your intro it gives me hope to know someone
out there also feel like me at time now i don`t feel so alone anymore
thank for being strong for others.
i'm an hiv+ single mother & i'm 6mnths pregnant.i'd like 2 meet strong women like u Dikeledi and thanx for your story.
I am 29 recently married 7 year old son, 3 step children a wonderful husband,diagnosed 2009. I have learnt to face my fears and embrace my sickness and be hopeful , most importantely to live life.....
I am also terrified of starting treatment, the problem with me is that i can not stick to any medication, be it supplements,even antibiotics.I pray to God that when the time comes i be like my man brave enough to swallow 4 pills every day, same time 24/7 365.
But i am blessed to have someone to walk this path with....
I couldnt agree more!!! I am exactly the same way! I am a diva, a warrior, a soldier! and a survivor..but I am a human being that gets scared and sometimes I just think can I ever get a rest..I also cry, get angry,pray,try to live a positive life...so I get in a hole sometimes..but that passion in me and the fighter always pulls me back up! xoxox Mariateresa
hi ladies...and there i was thinking gore m alone..Dikeledi your words sims like thy came rite outta ma mouth....people understands but they dont know how it really feels m single mother who needs support ,some1 to talk to, i have no such and i believe frm 2day onwards i shall interact with 'A GIRL LIKE ME" ladies i wish you all well......
wow..i thought i was alone but clearlt there are ppl out there who r going through the same stuff. i'm exactly like you Dikiledi..the iron lady to very1,I hardly evr show any signs of weakness to ppl and hardly ever cry to anyone. Then when the lights go off the trears waterfal begins.I also keep a journal in which I write letters to God, telling him how I feel and all. Sometimes talking to Him like He is in the room also helps.
The time I ever disucss this with my family is when my dad wants to know what my last CD4 count was, nothing else. For everything else, I talk to God. I have friends that I occasionally talk to but its like you say, they can never really understand what we are going through. All they can do is listen, which sometimes help, but the fact that they cant relate is a bit frustrating.
I might need to begin treatment soon, and I am terrified and feel alone.
sending you all a big teddy bear hug and lots of kissess.
@Fifi & KG where are you based? maybe we can hook up sometime.
@ Mazzy hugs and kisses right back at ya!
Hey Ladies, I am really touched by all your stories and really feel that I am not alone. I am eight months preggies and the father of the baby knows about my status but we broke up. I recently met a loving caring man, but it is so difficult for me to tell him about my status I am really not afraid of rejection. He is the man of my dreams but where do I start how do you ladies manage to share to a new partner about your status. My mom is very suppostive and always tells me that I can't go around telling every man I meet about my status because it is a small world but I am just praying that when I tell him he will not hate me.
i know exactly what you are going through.i had the same problem telling my boyfriend.i told him after six months abt my status.i asked him when was the last time he tested and he said he tested last year june and he was negative and i asked him if he can date some-1 whose hiv+ and he said yes bt still i ddnt tell him then.one night i couldnt sleep i started crying he woke up and ask me whts wrong, i told him that i was sick and he askd with what, i told him that i'm hiv+ and he hugged and thank me for telling him the truth.he's so supporting.you have to be prepared for everything.if he loves you he will stand by you and you dont know his status or you can ask him to go with you to the clinic for vct.only the truth can set you free.good luck gal
i would like to meet u ladies,naledi,fifi,dikeledi.iv got a lot to share as well.
hi galz.i'm happy to knw that i'm not alone in this journey.i'm 29yr old from East london.i tested in 2006 whn i was pregnant.i couldnt believe the results that i was hiv+ i was scared, nervous and ddnt want to disclose bt i had to tell my mother and my boyfriend and i did.i had a miscarriage, my cd4 cell count dropped from 507 to 245 then my dr. suggested that i should start arv's and i refused bcz i heard that they make you worse bt i ended up taking them after two months i started loosing my mind, seeing things that were not there and severe headache. i was diagnosed with tb meningitis and i was hospitalized for 3 months and took tb medication for a year.i started gaining weight back,my health improved and i broke up with my boyfriend, i met this wonderful guy online his hiv-, he took good care of me.we've been together for 2yrs now and my cd4 cell count is 1227,viral load undetected for 2yrs now.my problem is that i never told my friends abt my status i dnt know why.
Dear I fill you 100% from my hurt, coz I am past ,5, years positive man 42 years old with myelopathy, i am compromise with me and live up to dye alone,rejected from society and family.
HI I am HIV positive from past five tears I need friendship & relationship with all HIV positive
Girl & Women thank you & good luck Wish you all good luck With Love.
hi ladies....hw u ol doin..m ok...surviving..*lol* Dikeledi i stay in Limpopo bt wil be moving to Jozi real soon..
i have to go for tests the coming month m nt looking forward to it...nt @ ol its still kinda scary u never get used to it..it feels like you goin for the very first tym always...coz i know these results r gonna change ma life the last tests were not good so yeah m kinda scared...taking medication means m gonna have to disclose...hw m i goin to xplain the evryday pills....iv bin avoiding it bt it catching up with me.....
hi sweetthang..where r u based?
Hi Dikeledi can u pls help me i heve been hiv positive for 8 years and i kept it a secreat please hook me up i need someone to talk to, ihave one friend but i cant talk to her cause she doesnt want to test.
Hi ladys i so wish to meet you all iam inspired by your comments/stories.Hope you all stay blessed and stay strong. By the way iam from Bloemfontein are the any ladies here from the free state?
hey i also live in bloem and lonely,smtimes i found myself stressing i think about my 2 children and cry all the time,ive got no family here im a 1 man in a foreign city, can we meet?
Hey Makhumalo aka barbara I lived in bloem years ago, I now live in jo'burg. But I feel and know ur frustration. I will talk to God abt you... There is a lady in bloem who held my hand when I was falling apart, I can give her ur e-mail if u don't mind.
Please include your cell numbers when u reply to this e-mail.
Luv and peace Diks
-original message- Subject: [A Girl Like Me] Comment: "Dikeledi's intro"
Hy ladies ive'been reading ur commentz and im inspired i knw having hiv is not easy and itz hard disclosing your status, im only 22 yearz and would love to meet hiv+ women lyk me coz sometimes its not easy talking to sum1 hu's not going through wat u r going thru, and they pretend everythng wil be okay but@ d same they alwayz say negative thngz about hiv im really stressed i need u my sistaz 2 help me
am really touched by your comments. they made me realise that am not alone anymore, there are pple like me out there. am a student and 21 yrs, 11 months living with my disease, and am educating at, am at varsity. thank you all for you posts it really helps,
i would to like 2 know you more
am really touched by your comments. they made me realise that am not alone anymore, there are pple like me out there. am a student and 21 yrs, 11 months living with my disease, and am educating it, am at varsity. thank you all for you posts it really helps,
i would to like 2 know you more
hey girls, shud u need to talk to me 1 on 1 feel free to ask krista martel (group admin) for my details
HI I am same to you discuss with me about you.
Hi Dikeledi, My name is Jilly and live in Mpumalanga. Would like to get in touch with You. Also positive for the past 8 years. Mostly what grab my attention is your love and my great love of FOOD,BOOKS AND ART.
i would love to if posible meet some of you girls, i live in Polokoane, anyone nearest to me please i desperately need someone to talk to someone who would understand and relate to my story well, ican't
I'm 27 years and was diagnosed in 2004, but stupid me I just didn't believe it and i kept on saying it's not possible. In 2009 i fell pregnant and yah reality striked me, the results came back positive and thank God I had this remarkable woman whom we shared the very same shameful state and yes we started talking and calling each other all the time to regain strength from each other. But the terrible thing is that we never told the fathers about our status, sad for me I left my partner and she is still with hers. I started being sick in December 2011 with absessess in my privates parts and severe rash in my head which led me to cut my hair. Reality striked again as i'm still sick and I then decided to take tests again to check if my cd4 and viral load are sinking and maybe I need to start my treatment but yah with God's grace it all came back very good but now my worry is that I'm not getting well and it feels terrible at times when I look @ my son and daughter I cry deeply as i always wonder if i would be here long enough to endure their happiness ans success. Being HIV is maybe not sad but it breaks you everyday and catalyses some of your dreams. I've lost wait and I don't have a boyfriend anymore, don't even go out to malls, pubs and enetertaiment places like I use too.
Still scared to tel my family but my bf knows bcz hez da 1 who insisted dat we shud go get tested and he sad to me it doesnt matter whether m hiv+ o not he will always b de 4 me n ja we got tested n he was - n i ws + n he stil said the same thing,just thank God for him n he is so supportive...tells me wat to eat n to eat n to xcercise,Ladies we just all need to be strong n tel urclf dat HIV wont kill us!
Hi Dikeledi. I am based in Pretoria and share the same sentiments. I have been looking for a forum/ support group around midrand or jhb and so far, my search yielded zero results. Please mail me at email@example.com. I would like for this to be the start of a fruitful liaison, where we can share info and challenges. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Hey gal, u such an inspiration to other women out there. u know i was diagnosed last yr 08nov my fear right now is that i don't have kids and i have fabroids in my womb and don't have anybody not even a partner to talk to, i still don't believe that i am positive and my mom doesn't want she trusted me so much and the other thing is that i dont have a stable job so this thing is killing me.
Dont be my dear, i live in johannesburg so we can hook up for a gals talk, and where are you in Joburg...can i have your email.
Hello Ladies, wow, i found out yesterday and scared confussed and hell of a mad, now my only concern is rejection, i would like to get into contact with some1 based in johannesburg for some kind of help, but @my girl DIVA your words inspired me and i do belive that things will be ok.. Z
Hey lady just stumbled on wat u wrote and it kinda gave me hope my husband is hiv positive & i"m negative and desperate for a baby dnt know were to start or wat to do
im also like Dikeledi
Thanks Dikeledi for sharing your story. Im 31 and also poz. I live and work in Randburg and would love to hook up with anyone who is free and we can share info on any topic. Im on medication and never had any serious side effects. Please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
im so sori for u status bt jst n dat u a nt alone we alwayz care,luv en respect u my dear try to accept en god is alwayz be der for u my luv
Hello all,im from Kenya 40 years old single mum of 4.separated for 7 yrs. now.I'm inspired and humbled and want to continue linking up with you all.Good work to all of you.
wow you guys im 22 a single mum of a beautiful daughter aged 2 she came out negative and im still going strong believing God with all i have for my healing. in all you do remember he is there for you. baby daddy and i are no longer together but i have met the most wonderful man under the stars hes my best friend and treats me well regardless of my status. HIV is nothing in Gods hands have faith
Wow this platform is just what I need, since my diagnosis a year ago I've never really shared my story but with a few friends, my partner and the friend I contracted from. I've never ever allowed myself to even weep about it. I must admit I have down days like a recovering substance abuser but somehow pick myself up and leave my pity puddle. Feels great to read stories of people with similar struggles.
Ai Lolly m in dat situation ryt now ma luv r recently found out last week bt thn r cudnt hold maself to tell him r dd told him since then we r nt ok r knw very well that he infected me wth this but r accepted ma status bcoz r knw thrs nothing r cn do... but nw ma problem is r wanna ask him to go wth me to de clinic fr the VCT bt m scared r hvnt cyd anything yet at home