Last month, a South African lady decided to share her HIV+ status and story on Twitter.
In one profound tweet, she said that she found out that she had the condition at 14 and didn’t expect to see 18 – let alone 22.
And that simple message has since been liked by over 15,000 people, with thousands sending messages of support and congratulations.
People started sharing their own stories
I was only 17 when I was diagnosed,I'm 30 in July. It's been God ❤ pic.twitter.com/VWhhxQB6Xe
— Mmabatho Ranake (@MmabiRanake) February 25, 2017
Inspired by Saidy’s bravery
Wow,you are one of thee most courageous people. Positive outlook 👌👌. Your faith kept you strong. You'll live still.. 🙏🙏🙏🙏
— Fabulous Buccaneer (@Smart_Kefu) February 24, 2017
And positive attitude
you are so strong, sharing your story inspire us…Many more years to live💕💕💕💕💕
— 🍩dollface🐼 (@HerAudrejesty) February 24, 2017Loading...
And general zest for life
you look really beautiful and healthy ❤❤❤❤
— Oluwaremilekun (@oluRehmy) February 24, 2017
Both of her parents had died from HIV but she didn’t know that until she was diagnosed herself.
‘Initially, I wanted to cry, I was so scared, I mean I was only 14,’ she told BuzzFeed. ‘I kept it a secret, and only told my aunt six months later, who confirmed that I got it from my parents.’
She said that she tried to push the thought of living with HIV to the back of her mind – until her health started deteriorating.
‘I had these nasty sores on my neck and face, I went to the clinic to check if they could like give me an ointment to treat them, that was when they reminded me that I had tested positive for HIV, and that my health was deteriorating, I needed to start treatment.’
She decided to share her story on Twitter to help the fight against the stigma HIV still has.
‘I disclosed to give hope to people living with HIV, and to show those who are HIV+ that there is life after diagnosis,’ she explained.
And she found that people were more than supportive.
She’s now taking antiretroviral drugs to control her symptoms and hopes to pursue a career in media. And of course, she’s going to keep on fighting to end the stigma around HIV.