Fanny – Malawi

Fanny, who is HIV-positive, developed a fever, generalized body pains, and a persistent cough at six years old. She had no appetite and rapidly began losing weight.

A month after first experiencing these symptoms, Fanny’s tested positive for TB. Living with HIV and a weakened immune system made Fanny especially susceptible to acquiring TB.

Following Fanny’s positive TB test, her doctor investigated further, and two months later discovered that Fanny’s father had previously been diagnosed with DR-TB. Fanny was diagnosed with DR-TB without any DST confirmation.

The treatment itself was free, but because TB and HIV services are not integrated, Fanny and her family had to travel to two separate health facilities to access Fanny’s treatments for TB and HIV. They traveled long distances to the health facilities, which resulted in financial loss to the family, both in actual travel costs and in income lost to time spent in transit.

Fanny’s doctors have observed moderate improvements in her physical health. Fanny experiences discrimination and stigma on a daily basis and as a result, despite improvements in her physical health, Fanny’s mental health state worsens as she struggles with depression.

Story Collected by: Clara Banya, Malawi Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (MANET+), Malawi; Joyce Kamwana, Coalition of Women Living with HIV and AIDS (COWLHA), Malawi