Pyness Nyirenda

Living positively with HIV

21 year old Pyness is HIV positive and lives with her four year old daughter and 73 year old grandmother.

In 2014 she joined the local Teen Club, an HIV support group run by Temwa, aimed at 15-24 year olds. She was the first young person to join the Chikwina Teen Club and attends every session.

There are 17 members in the group who meet every Saturday afternoon. At their meetings they learn about the importance of good nutrition to help improve their health. As well as sing spiritual songs, play together, and teach each other how to take their drugs effectively. They also provide much needed emotional support where the members are able to ask questions of each other which they might not feel able to ask others in the community because of stigmatisation.

Since joining the Teen Club, Pyness has been able to buy seeds and learnt how to cultivate vegetables in a small plot next to their house. Here she is growing tomatoes, rape, and mustard, which has improved her diet and health. She has also received vital training on how to live positively, take care of her body and look to the future with hope. She now rarely becomes sick due to a combination of taking her medication correctly and improved nutrition.

Pyness had this to say to Temwa;

“Before joining the Teen Club I had no information on how to live positively. With HIV, I thought that my life was over. Now, with encouragement from my peers, I know that there is life ahead and feel positive about the future for me and my child.”

If you would like to support HIV positive people in Malawi, consider donating or fundraising for us.

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