Interview: An HIV teen patient
Mqondisi Mkandla is a 17-year-old boy from Zimbabwe. He is studying at St Bernard’s High School in
Mqondisi is HIV positive. He is receiving treatment and is helping to fight HIV/AIDS-related stigma. He meets with his friends in the Mpilo Teen Club, a support group for teenagers with HIV in the town, and they do activities together. The club was formed in 2004 with the support of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
These days, Mqondisi is very happy: he is travelling to the
How do you feel before heading to
I am very happy to be able to travel to
Before going to the
What are your expectations about the International AIDS Conference?
My main expectation in the IAC is that I am personally going to be able to share my life experiences in order to educate others in HIV and AIDS issues. I would like to be a voice of the voiceless, representative of the challenges that the teenagers and children are facing at home. And to learn more about HIV and AIDS related issues.
What is the main message you would like to take to
Looking at my background, the main messages and recommendations I will make at IAC in
What did your friends say about the trip? What did they recommend to you?
My friends at home are very excited that I got the chance to go out and represent them and actually share the challenges they are facing in a platform such as the IAC. They are very excited and happy for me that I am travelling as their ambassador or representative.
Why do you think it is important to share your personal stories with others?
I think it is important to share my personal experiences with others so that my story can empower them and educate them on how to live life stress-free and to look at a brighter future despite the statuses or illnesses they may have.