At just thirty-eight years old, Mary Ndunge has committed herself to a life of celibacy. “I was married before, and we had five children,” she explains. “But my husband passed away during my last pregnancy. And when I found out it was because of HIV, I knew I had to get tested, too.”
So she did. And Mary learned that she, too, had been infected by the disease that claimed her husband. This was the defining moment when she decided she wasn’t going to take the risk of passing HIV onto anyone else. “It is important for me not to get into another relationship,” she says. “I don’t want to infect another person.”
At first, Mary admits that she wasn’t consistent with taking the medications that had been prescribed to her at the hospital where she received her diagnosis. But when she came to CARE for AIDS, she was taught how crucial they were in order for her to live a healthy life. And that has given her the hope she needs in order to look forward to the many years she has ahead as a mother. “For a long time I was troubled,” she says.
“But I learned how to ask for help. And that’s what I would encourage anyone who is living with this disease to do. Ask for help. Know your status. Take your medication as advised. And, most importantly, be resolved.”