Mdantsane resident Loyiso Lindani did not allow herself to be deterred from voicing her story to find healing through her upcoming autobiography, How HIV Saved My Life.
“I want to give a voice to the voiceless, to take ownership of the choices I made, to give hope and encouragement to those going through the same thing.
“I had to dig deep and it was painful but it is important to liberate yourself,” Lindani said.
Lindani was diagnosed with HIV in 2006, while pregnant with her son.
“I never thought I could last longer than three months, it was a rollercoaster ride but luckily I had support from my friends during that time,” she said.
She was only 17 when her mother passed away from HIV/Aids-related illnesses. “There were no ARV’s available to her at the time.
“I went through it all with her, stigmatised by family and community. She died in my arms. That is where the alcohol came in as a coping mechanism, having not received any form of counselling,” she said.
Lindani said she had suffered from low-self esteem at the time and did not aspire to achieve anything in life, which had trapped her in a vicious cycle for years, with no support system.
Speaking on the still-prevalent HIV/Aids stigma, she said not everyone was publicly vocal about their status.
“We tend to overlook and not address a lot of things and we need to look at the conversations we are having as society.
“The more we talk, the more we will find solutions,” she said.
Lindani uses her Facebook profile to encourage others through poetry and music.
How HIV Saved My Life is being printed by Buffalo City Metro, after she approached the municipality with a complete manuscript, book jacket design and an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) number.