Health-E, Baruti le HIV – Karolo 1, 29 July 2004

by Khopotso Bodibe

Na ekaba moithuti ka tsa bodumedi a ka kgona ho tsebisa moratuwa wa hae le kereke ya hae jwang ha a iphumana a na le kokwana hloko ya HIV? Boo e ne e le bothata ba moruti Christo Greyling ka selemo sa 1987 ha dingaka di mo tsebisa hore o ena le tshwaetso eo. Health-e News Service e ile ya buisana le moruti Greyling ka tsa bophelo ba hae le kokwana hloko ena lemong tsena tsohle. Ena ke karolo ya pele ho tse pedi paleng ya tsa bophelo ba moruti Greyling.

KHOPOTSO: “Bophelong bohle ba ka ke ne ke sa tsebe hore thobalano ke eng pele ke fumana hore ke na le tshwaetso ena,” ho rialo moruti Christo Greyling a neng a tshwere phutheho ya Dutch Reformed. Hona jwale moruti enwa a seng a le dilemo tse 38, o sebetsa jwaloka moeletsi ho mokgatlo wa World Vision. Ona ke mokgatlo wa se-Kreste o thusang bana ba nang le tshwaetso ya HIV le ba amehileng ha bohloko tlase ho kodua ena.

REV. CHRISTO GREYLING: I heard I was HIV positive in 1987 while I was still a student in Theological Seminary. That was quite a shock. I, in fact, only found out last year that I got infected in ’84 with an eye operation. I’m haemophiliac, which basically means I don’t have any clotting in my blood and therefore, when I have internal bleeds in joints or in muscles, I have to infuse myself, intravenously, with a concentrate of other people’s blood. And in the early ‘80s times there were no testing yet available and I received some US/American factor during that operation. And it was just unfortunate that I got infected during that time.

KHOPOTSO: Moruti Greyling o re lefu lena la Haemophilia, e leng bofokodi ba madi ka baka la hore ha a etse mahlwele, le hlasela manonyeletso a mmele hoo motho o ka lahlehellwang ke tshebediso ya ona.

REV. CHRISTO GREYLING: Haemophilia is a blue blood disease. They say it comes, originally, from Queen Victoria. I don’t know how true that is. But we know that she was the first person who had haemophiliac children, as well as the Czar from Russia… Haemophilia is a disease, which causes severe pain in joints, as when you twist an ankle and it starts to swell up. In my case it doesn’t heal by itself. It just becomes worse and worse. It’s extremely painful, but you also might lose the use of joints. At this stage, haemophiliacs are much easier treated now than we were when we were small children. Now it’s easy, you just inject yourself with the concentrate of the factor that is absent in my blood and you recover within a day or two. Previously, we had to lie in hospital for a week receiving plasma. And that caused a lot of time away from school, or time away from home, and also caused a lot of damage to the joints.

KHOPOTSO: O re lefu lena ke tshwaetso ya lefutso. Ngwana moshemane a ka fumana tshwaetso ya Haemophila ho tswa ho mmae.

REV. CHRISTO GREYLING: Yes, haemophilia is a genetic disease. It is passed on from the mother to the son. So, daughters don’t get to be haemophiliacs. They are the carriers of haemophilia. It’s very much similar to colour blindness, which is also transmitted from the women as the carriers to the men as the people who suffer from that.

So, if I would have a daughter my daughter will be a carrier. She will not suffer from haemophilia herself. But her sons will possibly have a 50/50 chance of being haemophiliacs.

KHOPOTSO: Moruti Greyling o tswetswe a ena le tshwaetso ya Haemophilia. Ha a fumana hore o ena le tshwaetso ya HIV o ne a le dilemo tse 23, bophelo bo le monate.

REV. CHRISTO GREYLING: I was young. At that stage I was 23 years old. I was in love. I had a wonderful girlfriend. And so, HIV came as a huge surprise. It came as a shock. It really challenged me to suddenly start to think ‘what now? Who will ever want a Reverend being HIV positive and having AIDS?’ At that stage the stigma was even greater than now. And HIV was purely associated with homosexuality, with sex, with promiscuity. And I was really scared that people will not be willing to be near me.

KHOPOTSO: E ne le kgwedi tse tsheletseng pele a nyala ha a utlwa ditaba tsena tsa tshwaetso ya hae. Ka ho tshaba le ho touta o ile a hopola hore a mpe a fedise morero wa ho nyalana le morwetsana wa hae wa ka nako eo. Empa ha ho a ka ha eba jwalo.

REV. CHRISTO GREYLING: My girlfriend at the time was Liesl, and we were dating for about six months. And the big question then was ‘should we continue with this relationship or end it?’ I felt I cannot expect her to continue having to be married, possibly, to a person with AIDS; having that stigma around you; never being able to have children; I will become ill and she’ll have to care for me; and she’ll be a widow within a few years. So, I just felt, ‘stop it.’ She said, ‘no I loved you before you became HIV positive and the fact that you’ve got a virus does not change the love I have for you. So, I’m gonna marry you, anyway.’ So, I’m thankful for that. After 16 years we are still together and she’s still negative, which proves to you it can be done. HIV is preventable. We got married six months later, in April 1988.

KHOPOTSO: Tlalehong e latelang labone le hlahlamang, moruti Christo Greyling o bua ka bophelo ba hae le kokwana hloko ya HIV, le ka mokgwa oo tshwaetso ena e amang mohatsae le lenyalo la bona ka ona.




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