Ntombi is a young girl. Everybody loves her because she is such a respectful person, even towards those younger than herself. She is a lively member of her church, with a beautiful voice. When she was still at school all her teachers wished her a beautiful future, perhaps to become a doctor or teacher or lawyer.

Ntombi’s parents are devoted members of their church. Her father is a preacher and her mother a member of the church council. They were really proud of their child and expected much of Ntombi.

Ntombi was in matric, aiming to pass with several distinctions. All her life her mother raised her according to the Bible and God’s principles. Her mother emphasised that Ntombi should defend and keep her virginity. She emphasised the traditional guidelines according to which young people must stay sexually pure until they get married.

Their medical aid fund requested her father to send them the results of blood tests of Ntombi. After receiving the results Ntombi said to her mother: “Mother, the results show that I am HIV positive. Please keep it a secret between the two of us.” Her mother became very angry and chased her away from home. Her father just got very quiet. They never explained or reported this to their church.

Ntombi, being away from home decided to make a living on her own by selling her body to other men. She became a sex worker and while she was out on the streets she made contact with health workers. She told them her story, and how she was chased away from home. They took her back home and discussed the matter with Ntombi’s parents.

They told her parents that it was important to take Ntombi back into their home. They referred her parents to the Bible and asked them to read 2 Sam.14:11-24.

They explained that Ntombi would have a lot of stress that needs to be addressed. Unattended stress would make her situation worse.

She would need a lot of support and love.

Although it is a serious disease, to be HIV+ is not the end of the world. She had to go back to school to complete her education.

Ntombi also had to be taken back into the arms of the church. The congregation should accept her and continue to support her.

Ntombi, like other people who are HIV+, are not bewitched, as many people believe.

In caring for Ntombi, her parents should be aware of the risks of also getting infected by the virus. Body fluids should to be handled with great care. It would be best to make use of gloves when nursing a HIV infected person.

Today Ntombi is back at home. She is her cheerful self again, singing and helping others. She is also very open about the fact that she is HIV infected. She talks about it. She gets love and good food at home. She gets enough rest, because her body is not that strong any more. Her openness motivates other people who are infected to do likewise and talk about their illness.

All people must be considered HIV positive. Use gloves when working with body fluids.

Choose to say NO to sex outside of marriage

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