01 December 2016

Prisca, 44, joined the Epworth HIV program in 2011. Her daughter Shamiso, was born while her mother was part of MSF’s Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission program (PMTC). As a result, Shamison was born HIV negative.

Prisca and Shamiso in 2011, Zimbabwe
Prisca and her Baby Shamiso in 2011.  Photo: Brendan Bannon

“With my first husband, I did not have children, even though we were married for a long time. When he was tested for HIV and turned out to be HIV positive, I left him. I was tested for HIV in 2008 at Epworth Clinic. At that time, because of the stigma, I didn’t tell anyone including friends, I would not discuss it.

HIV in Zimbabwe
Five year old Shamiso is dressed by her mother, Prisca, at her modest one room home in Epworth on Harare’s outskirts. Photo: Rachel Corner/De Beeldunie

"I managed to get counselling at the Clinic to understand the illness but it was a private thing. I met my current husband there and we tried to have a baby as he also did not have children yet. Then when I fell pregnant in 2010, I told the staff. I followed all the instructions I was given, but I still thought my child would be HIV positive. I had lost all hope but I got assistance and through that, I was able to give birth to an HIV negative child.

“I was so excited when Shamiso tested negative,” she adds.