They stop taking ARVs claiming it makes them starve!

World AIDS Day event led by non-profit organisation, Ntshasiphiwesethu Foundation in Tyhusha village in Tsholomnqa.

The Ntshasiphiwesethu Foundation, a non-profit organisation based in Tsholomnqa outside of East London that supports those living with HIV/AIDS, promotes the use of ARVs for those who are infected with the virus as well as prevention for those who have not yet been diagnosed.

According to Ntombentsha Gusha, the NPO’s founder, HIV/AIDS is not a shame, but the public is afraid to come out because of the stigma in the community.

Gusha was speaking at the community hall in Tyhusha village in Tsholomnqa when the candles were lit in memory of those who died as a result of this virus, as December 1 is World Aids Day.

Gusha says they are in ward 32 of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, and they have three clinics in this ward, which they are monitoring with the nurses.

“We want to gather information from nurses about how those who stop taking ARVs are doing, and see how we, as Ntshasiphiwesethu, can intervene to help.

“The nurses say they stop taking their ARVs because the pills make them hungry, and they don’t have food at home,” Gusha explained.

She reveals that their NPO farms with the assistance of the Department of Agriculture. They grow vegetables and assist those in need.

She adds that they also give seedlings to those who can grow vegetables in their gardens so that they have something to eat and can take their pills.

Feziwe Yalezo, who has lived with this virus for 19 years, says she is a living proof today, despite having walked a tough and difficult road. Yalezo left encouraging words for her peers, saying that ARVs are very useful because she did not think she would live to be this age.

Ntshasiphiwesethu cook soup for people in their three clinics every month, which they fund themselves.

Gusha adds that this NPO is also looking to teach sewing skills to unemployed young people. Gusha says they would appreciate it if someone could donate sewing machines to them.

The event was attended by members of the BCM, the police, and children who entertained the attendees.