Sindi was diagnosed with HIV three years ago while pregnant with her youngest child, and wisely had her CD4 count checked. This test reveals how strong or weak a person’s immune system is, and Sindi’s result was 780, well within the normal range.
Determined not to let HIV get the best of her, Sindi visited the clinic every six months for a repeat CD4 count, waiting for the day when it would reach 200*. That is the magic number at which a South African HIV patient can begin receiving Anti-Retroviral (ARV) treatment.
Sindi’s already slight build began to shrink, and her strength diminished as the weight continued falling off her. She had gone shopping to find new clothes, but found she was now a children’s size 12!
At her next clinic visit, Sindi waited for the nurse to tell her the CD4 count result. It was 210. Would they allow her to begin treatment even though it wasn’t under 200? And then she heard: “Would you like to start on ARV’s now?”
“Yes! Yebo! Please!” Sindi jumped up and did a little victory dance in the office.
When Sindi told her story at LifeWise, a 5-day HIV course, she had been on treatment for two months and had already gained 18 pounds, up from 70lbs to 88lbs.
She finished her testimony by saying how HopeShares and the programs of Seed of Hope had encouraged her in her own personal fight against AIDS and given her confidence to help her family, friends and neighbours do the same.
* Since Sindi‘s experience, South Africa’s health policy has been revised to allow anyone with a CD4 count below 350 to receive Anti-Retroviral Treatment.