The story of HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe’s communal areas is accustomed to images that reflect sickly individuals and dire poverty, but there are stories of individuals who have looked beyond their condition and are at the forefront to remove the tag of perennial beggars attached on those living with the virus.
Theirs are inspiring stories which paint an undying attitude on those living with HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe’s rural areas departing from the all too familiar acrimonies of weakly individuals struggling in poverty.
At 52, Loice Chapanduka has lived 19 years of her life with the deadly disease surviving on antiretroviral medication.
They are among hundreds of communal farmers in Rushinga and Mudzi who have adopted small grain farming through an initiative supported by the World Food Programme, only for them this venture has gone beyond just providing food security but have also become seeds of hope.
They have refused to let their condition reduce and relegate them to the echelons of poverty and becoming perennial beggars.
While the country has made strides to reducing prevalence statistics to at least 13 percent, the battle for survival still remains on the stigma attached to the disease where many are not willing to disclose their status.
These women have come out open hoping their story can serve as an inspiration to others.