Here are several stories of CHIPS clients this past year. The CHIPS staff began counseling with Mcebo in November to be tested for HIV. Mcebo was already extremely sick and thin and physically exhibiting all the signs of HIV progressing into AIDS. He agreed and was tested late November. He tested positive, so Mary drew blood for the CD4, hoping that the hospital would run the test since Mcebo was so sick. Thankfully they did and Mcebo started on the anti-retrovirals in December. He was still very sick. He also began a regimen of drugs for TB. CHIPS provided all the transport for this father and husband. He had been too sick to take on any work as a day laborer in the sugar cane fields. Any cost to travel to the hospital was beyond his reach. Especially if he still wanted to be able feed his family. Today Mcebo is "midway through to a full recovery and out of danger." CHIPS staff monitor his progress by making frequent visits to his home and continuing to provide transport for his drug refills and doctor visits.
This is a typical story for a man with HIV. It seems men wait till they are on death's door before they take action. Women on the other hand are much more proactive! But Mcebo did get tested in time and was able to start on drug early enough that he should recover and be able to return to work to provide for his family. Praise God!
Thembi, a young HIV+ mother, was initiated on anti-retrovirals early in the year. She suffered a stroke shortly after being initiated on the anti-retrovirals and was entirely bed ridden. But during a home visit in December, she was found walking and praising God, shouting, “Thank you Jesus I can walk!” Still partially paralyzed, she was up and about her homestead, praising God.