HIV and AIDS OurHealth

HIV-positive man hangs himself

Written by Suprise Nemalale

Vhembe – A man from Tshithuthuni village hanged himself from the roof of the house he was building with his wife after discovering that he was HIV-positive.

“He usually comes back from work around five in the afternoon. I was surprised that he was so late and when I called his colleagues, they said that he had not shown up at work,” said Ndidzulafhi Madzunye, the man’s 38-year old widow.

“I tried to call him but his cell phone was off. I forced myself to go to sleep even though he was not back. The next morning while I was walking around the new building of our house, I just thought I’ll go in and when I walked in, I saw my husband hanging from the roof. I only remember waking up at the clinic some hours later,” she added.

Mashudu Mundalamo, a colleague of Thinandavha, said: “He was a very good person to work with.

“The last day I saw him at work when he told me that he was going to the clinic for some tests but he did not mention which. I offered to go with him but he said no. The next day he didn’t pitch at work and I thought maybe it has something to do with the tests he went for the previous day.”

Tshilidzi Mudau, who lives next to the Madzunye family, said she heard Mrs Madzunye scream very loudly. I ran to her house and when I got there, I found her lying on the floor and Mr Madzunye hanging from the roof. Luckily all the children had already gone to school.

“I called the police and Mrs Madzunye was taken to the nearest clinic.

“After the police had arrived I found a piece of paper on the floor and it was written ‘I am very sorry to do this to you and our children, but I couldn’t go on after what I have discovered. I went for the HIV test and I tested positive. Please take care of yourself and our children. Goodbye.’ I showed it to the police and they took it to his wife at the clinic.”

Agnes Nemulodi, the sister in charge at Thengwe clinic confirmed that Mr Madzunye had gone to the clinic to do HIV tests.

“Unfortunately the results came back positive but I asked him to come back after two months to run other tests and he agreed. Now I am very shocked to hear the sad news and our condolences as a clinic goes out to the Madzunye family.”

She said she wanted to reassure other patients who test positive that “it is not the end of the world and it does not mean that you are going to die”

“We have ARVs to help you with the virus, so people have to start understanding that HIV is just a virus,” she said.

Mrs Madzunye said: “I am still in a shock that my husband is no more. I wish he had told me. I would have accepted him and continued to live with him as my husband. I am sad that my children are left with no father only because of HIV. I would not want this to happen to anyone. Partners should talk to one another about things before they take decisions.”

About the author

Suprise Nemalale

Suprise Nemalale is an OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from Limpopo's Vhembe Health District.