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.