27-year-old Phenny Awiti has been living with HIV her entire life after being born positive, but learnt of her status at the age of 16.
Phenny has never been shy to speak about her HIV status and uses social media to champion awareness and preach against HIV stigmatization.
Today, December 1st, being Worlds AIDs Day, the mother of two shared a touching story about herself and how she copes with her status.
“Three years ago, I came here at 4.05 pm, May 5th of 2017 and came out publicly as HIV Positive!
“I dragged along my daughters. The reactions were both negative and positive. I wanted them to be part of me coming out because I was born with HIV, and they were not, I raised them free from it.
“This year September, I decided to slow down on my activism on social media because I felt I was being so theoretical and not helping people living with HIV outside social media! This decision remains the best ever.
“My name is Phenny Awiti, I was born with HIV on 3rd of January 1992, I discovered I had this virus 16 years later, my CD4 counts were only 110 and I immediately started ARVs (11 years on and still going).
Just like a sizable percentage of people living with HIV, Phenny said that she has faced many challenges among them stigma.
“I received and faced the stigma of all kinds in high school because I told a friend who told a friend, who then made most of my schoolmates aware of my status. Moving forward, this journey has been full of tears, love, hate, positivity, negativity, anxiety but most importantly, CONFIDENCE!
She went on to talk about her family life, relationship, and her expectations as she plans to welcome a third child into their young famil.
“I am currently expectant with my third child, the first two were from a man who was HIV Negative, but I met one who was HIV Positive, and has been on his ARVs for 10 years now…and together, we are a happier family!
“My story is still continuous, I pray it enlightens the stigma and discrimination around this virus, and gives you the urge to go and test! My family and I cannot wait to welcome another child free from this virus!
“As the theme suggests this year, Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community, is STILL A PRIORITY! To communities free from stigma, low new infections and prevalence!
“Happy World AIDS Day to you my followers, without you, I couldn’t have made it this far! Feel appreciated!