immanuel Kotokeni Sheefeni, 29 has only known about his HIV status for three months and turned his life around for the better.
He came to know about his positive HIV status when he took his friend to the hospital in June and tried to kill time by joining a testing queue and that was when he found out about his status.
It took him 7 days to come to terms with his reality and he blasted his Facebook page with his HIV status right away. He also told his parents as well as his friends, sexual partners and romantically interested parties.
“I did not get any counselling because I was the last person to take the test and it was late so I was told to come back tomorrow for counselling. I decided not to go back. I broke the news and I told my family and closest friends” he said.
He says it was better to break the news as soon as he came to terms with it because he felt it would be a burden. His friends especially took it as a joke because he is usually the clown of the party and would joke a lot. “I still get people sending me inboxes on Facebook telling me to stop with the jokes. I was not afraid of the stigma, people who are afraid of stigma probably depend on other people financially,” he says.
His CD4 count is very high and he has not started with the treatment yet, he does not want a pity party because he believes he will live till he is 100 years old.
“I am going to do this till the next 80 years. I am now 29 years old and I plan on living till 100 then I have completed my life span” he said.
After the news of his status he decided to turn his life around and cut all connections with negative influences from friends and activities.
“I am trying to show that I am happy with my status being known by everybody. Getting support from others, rather than only supporting myself” he added.
He is following the right diet as part of his self-help, he has also cut his cord to alcohol as he says he used to be addicted to drinking alcohol.
“I started eating a lot of fruits but now I have fallen in love with still water. I used to be addicted to alcohol and even when the doctor tried to draw blood he had to struggle” he said
In fact he has taken on another challenge to give motivational speeches at school as well as at events. He decided to venture into motivational speaking while still running his IT company IMMSTECH.COM “openly living positive”. His IT company offers personal motivation as well as sales of stationeries including mouse pads, USB, calendars and T-shirts. He runs his business from unit 32, old power station in the Southern Industrial area.
He will be speaking at the upcoming Olufuko Festival in Omusati Region in two weeks.
He is a certified international computer driving licence trainer as well as a social entrepreneur and motivational speaker now.
His work is part of saving those that are not infected yet, during his counselling sessions, he would encourage those that are HIV positive to make their status known to prevent further spread.
“They should seek professional counselling or talk to people like myself. If you want to start a family it’s much easier to be with someone that has the same HIV status” he said.
He wants to caution those that are used to the fast life of changing sexual partners to take care not to end up in his shoes. “Everybody should be responsible, people should not go on drinking sprees with the purpose of looking for sleeping partners that is how they get the virus,” he said.
He says that men would roll the condom off without the woman noticing and have unprotected sex with them and that women also do it. “He would pull out, and while he is kissing the woman he would take the condom off and then get back in without the condom. People also have to stay away from rough sex, I know a lot of people like it but it’s risky” he said.
He is looking forward to building a team of volunteers with either status to help him during his motivational speeches. He would also appreciate the support of those that buy his services that way he can pay for his trips to do his motivational speeches.