Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Truth be told

Facing truth is never easy.

He had been sick, but is a lot better since we started him on ART. She is also HIV positive and has borne the brunt of caring for him in his illness.

And then there are the children.

Neither tested. We tried to encourage the parents to test the kids. Floods of tears each time the topic was brought up.

Over the past months, however, one of the daughters - a 3 year old has been repeatedly ill.

We finally prevailed on the family to find out whether she has HIV - so that we can better treat her.

All of us dreaded the result. We prayed with the family about what it would be. We prayed unabashedly for a negative result. But we also prayed for strength if the blood result came positive.

When the blood was taken the child cried piteously. So did the father.

Last week the parents came for the result.

The child is HIV negative.

The look of joy, relief and thanksgiving on the parents face.

In all the trauma that they have gone through - we see some light.

They still have a sick girl, and we are working on getting her better, but the terrible burden of fear has been banished. The terrible weight of thinking whether they had passed on the infection to this little girl who was being formed while the mother carried the virus in her body - that burden has been lifted from this family's shoulders.

Finding out the truth is hard - but it is the only way to move forward.

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