Years of suffering end

Penwell Dlamini

Penwell Dlamini

"I am so happy, I feel like crying," said elated Vincent Jacobs when he learned that seven years of suffering without antiretroviral medication may soon be over.

He had reason to be.

Faranani Health Solutions offered to help Jacobs, 54, not only to obtain the life-saving drugs but with making his life and that of his four-year-old daughter more bearable.

Faranani is a group that administers medical aid for low-income groups and runs HIV-Aids community projects through the Aurum Health Institute.

Faranani were responding to an article in Sowetan which highlighted the plight of Jacobs, who was diagnosed with the dreadful HIV in 2001.

He was not put on ARV treatment at Helen Joseph Hospital in Johannesburg where he was diagnosed because his CD4 count was 210. This is above the required maximum to receive medication.

Sowetan accompanied Faranani's Kennedy Makhaya, Siphiwo Mthanti and Dudu Mkhwane to Jacobs' flat in Newclare to break the good news.

Jacobs lives in a three-roomed flat owned by his younger brother.

He shares his room with his four-year-old daughter, who is also HIV-positive and on ARV treatment.

Jacobs' one-year-old son died of an HIV-related illness in 2006. Seven months later his afflicted wife also succumbed to the disease.

Makhaya, HIV project coordinator at Faranani, said they would also look into helping Jacobs obtain a social grant and regular Aids counselling.