Each and every day a new person is infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). According to World Health Organisation and United Nations about 36.7 million people were living with the virus globally at the end of 2016, while 1.8 million were newly infected and 1 million of them died.
The number of people living with HIV was estimated to approximately 7.52 million in 2018
Ntimbwe Mpamba a 36-year-old man who was born in Zambia, and contracted the virus from birth says that his parents never disclosed his status to him before both passing away. Ntimbwe suffered a pneumonia attack which affects one’s lungs before further falling sick with Tuberculosis (TB). It was until he came to South Africa when he found out that his left lung was eroded by a virus and his right eye had gone completely blind after suffering from herpes zoster (shingles), that is when he was told that he is HIV positive.
Ntimbwe says that he faced lot of challenges living with HIV but it never became an excuse or barrier or for him to build his future. “A lot of questions went through my head, how did I acquire it, I have never been with multiple partners as I was not sexually active and had not been exposed to any risky situations that could cause me to acquire the disease. I was really ill and to be honest with you I never for once thought I would make it through, [but] through support from my church friends, and family, my spirit got the hope to hang on and fight the good fight,” said Ntimbwe.
Today he is not only a motivational speaker, but has started a campaign known as ‘Know Your Status’ whilst he also works as an Accountant. He is now comfortable to disclose his status and uses his experience to help other people to fight this disease. Being positive is not the end of the world, but it instant it gives you more reason to live and prove that nothing is impossible.
He says that his goal is to be an inspiration to the young victims of HIV especially those dealing with different emotions and rejection, bad health and struggling families. “If I can do it, so can they. I have dealt with different emotions and yes I have been depressed and asked [myself] normal questions which any person in my situation would ask -why me? he said.