Marvelous’ HIV story
Finding out about U = U was transformative. You can achieve what you want. It might be hard, but once you have that hope, you have a vision to say, “This is what I want,” you’ll get it.
My name is Marvelous. I’m originally from Zimbabwe and also I’m a woman living with HIV. I was diagnosed in 1995. That was my first sexual intercourse, and I got pregnant and I got HIV.
At that time, there was not access to treatment like it is now in Zimbabwe. Actually, I didn’t even know where to get treatment.
So unfortunately, when I gave birth, my child passed away with bronchopneumonia.
Text on screen: U = U (undetectable = untransmittable)
I started advocating for just women’s voices to be heard, and now with U =U, just making sure that women’s voices are taken into consideration.
U = U, to me, means that once you are undetectable, meaning that your viral load is undetectable, the virus is there, but you cannot transmit HIV if you are taking your treatment.
Text on screen: Treatment prevents the transmission of HIV.
Especially if you go for tests for 6 months and you’re still undetectable, it is scientifically proven that you don’t transmit HIV.
You can have sex without worrying about transmitting to someone. You can do that freely, without shame and enjoying your sex.
Yes, you can live positively. You can be out about your status.
Text on screen: The only way to know your status is to get tested.
You can be out about your status at work or within your family. And it’s not that because of U = U everyone has to be public and say, “Yes, I’m HIV positive”, wherever you go. It’s up to you.
Now that we know with U = U, I cannot transmit HIV to my baby, I can have a healthy baby and that baby will grow up knowing that they’ve got a healthy mother who’s HIV positive, that’s something marvelous to think about.
So, I didn’t let HIV stop me from getting the dreams that I wanted to. Yes, it was a road which had its own ups and downs…but I always had a dream and I always wanted to achieve my dream to go and do my Ph.D. and I’m happy I’m getting there.
Text on screen: Get the facts about HIV. Together, let’s stop stigma. Visit Canada.ca/hiv.
A message from the Government of Canada.
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