- Sameshni found out that she was HIV positive at thr age of 27 and thought that her life was ending
- Despite being HIV positive she made something of herself and now lives as a pillar of hope for the Indian community
- She is now an incredible athlete and role model, her story is extremely powerful as she took something that has control of her life and made it work for her
At the age of 36, Sameshni Moodley, an HVI sufferer has a commanding message for the Indian community.
Learning at the age of 27 that she was HIV positive, Moodley explained that she was raised in an Indian household where she was made to understand that HIV would not affect her.
reality, she learnt that it does not discriminate, reported IOL news.
Moodley said "It affects us all, irrespective of age, gender, race, sexual preference or affluence.”
Moodley works as a corporate insurance manger in Johannesburg and is on a mission to educate people and to remove the stigma attached to HVI sufferers, especially in the Indian community.
Briefly.co.za learnt that suffering with the disease, Moodley is one of the few brave enough to speak out. The percentage of woman living in South Africa with HIV is approximately 21%.
In an interview with POST, Moodley shared her fears when she learnt her status. Not only did she feel lost, confused and alone but she was scared and concerned what people would say.
"I felt like an outcast and thought life as I knew it was over. I thought getting married and having children would be nothing more than a dream.”
After hearing about her status, she suffered from drug and alcohol addiction, after a year, Moodley came to the realization that she was able to turn her life around. She came to the conclusion that being HIV-positive, was not a death sentence.
It never crossed her mind to question her partner’s faithfulness until she found out her status.
In October of 2008, Moodley did an HIV test as part of a regular set of health screenings during a routine Wellness Day. Putting the test at the back of her mind, Moodley never gave it another thought as she was so sure her results would be negative.
“When the first and second verification tests revealed a positive result, I was shocked. “
Moodley’s sister was the first person she turned to. Her sister reassured her that she would be there for Moodley no matter what. It was months later that Moodley disclosed her status to her friends but it took a few years for her to open up to her parents.
With all the love and support Moodley was receiving, she still was not coping with her situation. Battling to accept what she had to live with now, she turned to drugs and alcohol to find some sort of comfort.
Moodley still had to endure the most hurtful misconception of re-entering the dating scene and having to disclose her status. She felt like she was not good enough to love.
With those hurtful words playing over and over in her head, Moodley’s drinking was on the increase and she was experimenting with drugs in order to hide her feelings and to dumb the pain.
Depression set in, and Moodley started to shut out her family. The only people she was in touch with was those who approved of her new self-harming ways. The depression got so bad that at time Moodley was go to sleep and thought of not waking up.
It was one night when she lay by herselfin an empty dark room, after she had come down from her high, that she saw the light. With complete silence, she heard the voice inside her tell her not to give up on life.
“I knew I could not do this alone and needed help. I made an appointment with my doctor and told him everything. During the consultation, he found my immune system, CD4 count, was lower than 350 and this showed the virus was taking over my body. It wasn’t a surprise.”
Moodley made the choice to take the HIV drugs. After which she felt as if she was taking back her life. She felt, for the first time in a long time, empowered and in charge. There and then she chose to take control of her emotions and seek professional help.
Her days of reckless activity transformed in days consisting of yoga, weight training, cardio, spinning classes, functional training and healthy eating.
Amazingly, just two years ago, Moodley conqured the Old Mutual Soweto Marathon. Having a healthy mind, body and soul allows one to conquer what we set our minds to.
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Moodley has the drive and passion to be a role model for those with HIV, especially Indians who are HIV-positive.
Moodley said she wants to take her experience and share her knowledge. She said that she lives to be an inspiration and pillar of strength to those with HIV.
Discovering that you are HIV positive is one of the most traumatic experiences a person can have and everyone reacts differently to the life-changing news.
This brave and inspiring woman has again found love and is in a committed relationship.
“My success is owed to the love and support I received from my boyfriend, friends, family and circle of health professionals as well as the correct treatment and a healthy lifestyle.”
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