Khayelitsha's first HIV patient
The very first patient who was treated in MSF's Khayelitsha project weighed just 44 kg, had 650,00 HIV/ml of blood and her CD4 count was 20/ml. She had enormous ulcers in her mouth, cried for her dead mother and just wanted to die. She should have weighed 65kgs, given her height, but the ulcers had prevented her from eating properly.
After two weeks of treatment, the ulcers had halved in size and she had gained 10kg. After a month the ulcers were gone. A few months later she weighed 93 kg. When she returned to her previous workplace to see if she could be taken back, her employer did not recognise.
She disclosed her HIV status to her entire neighbourhood, as everybody was questioning her about her weight gain. Since then, she has brought three new patients to the pogramme and is now a kind of activist in her vicinity.
She now has an undetectable amount of HIV in her blood (below 125/ml) and her CD4 count is 390/ml. She is alive again.