AIDS 2016 HIV - Antiretrovirals (ARVs) News OurHealth

“I failed my daughter”

Written by Cynthia Maseko

When Senamile* was three months pregnant she found out that she was HIV-positive. “I did the right thing by disclosing my status to my partner with the hope that I would get support.”

However, the young mother said that instead of getting support, her partner, whom she described as “abusive”, wanted to know if she would get ARVs.

“He took my drugs and sold them to drugs users. I was afraid of him did not report him,” she said. Senamile gave birth to a daughter and when the baby was six months old she tested positive for HIV

He took my drugs and sold them to drugs users. I was afraid of him did not report him.

Nurse Thandi Nyawo said what happened to Senamile and her daughter was common.

We can give health education and tell pregnant women the importance of adhering to treatment but we can’t force them to adhere. Senamile should have reported her boyfriend at the clinic or police station because her innocent child could have born HIV-negative.”

Senamile is determined to keep her daughter healthy. “Knowing I kept my abuse secret has been hard but with my family support I am doing my best to make sure that my princess is healthy. My advice to pregnant women is to report any abuse and make sure you protect your baby no matter what,” she said.

About the author

Cynthia Maseko

Cynthia Maseko joined OurHealth in 2013 as a citizen journalist working in Mpumalanga. She is passionate about women’s health issues and joined Treatment Action Campaign branch as a volunteer after completing her matric. As an activist she has been involved with Equal Treatment, Planned Parenthood Association of South Africa, Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV and also with Marie Stopes Clinic’s project Blue Star dealing with the promotion of safe abortions and HIV education.