infected couple to say 'I do'

TYING THE KNOT: Mettah Shikwambane and Elvis Nyathi. Pic. Unknown
TYING THE KNOT: Mettah Shikwambane and Elvis Nyathi. Pic. Unknown

Alex Matlala

A Limpopo couple living with the deadly HIV virus will prove that there is life after being diagnosed positive when they get married next month.

The couple, Elvis Nyathi, 47, and Mettah Shikwambane, 35, who are both members of Phelang Community Centre in Phalaborwa, announced their plan to get married to a baffled executive committee yesterday.

Shikwambane and Nyathi are also members of the BaPhalaborwa HIV-Aids support group that educates people about living with HIV.

A few weeks after they fell in love in 2005, the couple was diagnosed HIV positive.

Since then the two have decided to take their relationship to the next level by getting married, something they wanted to do then but couldn't afford.

But Nyathi, a father of one, has now landed a job at the Palabora Foundation in Namakgale.

He said that his decision to marry was also made to prove to the community and to those living with the virus that it is still possible to realise one's dreams.

"Being positive doesn't mean a death sentence," Nyathi said.

"It means one has to be extra careful, start living a positive lifestyle and taking informed decisions about life."

"This marriage will serve as a mirror to the nation that people living with HIV can still get married and live a happy life for a very long time like anyone else if they get proper treatment."

The manager of the Phalaborwa HIV and Aids support group, She Rasebotsa, said the wedding would be sponsored by the Palabora Foundation and the BaPhalaborwa municipality.

Department of health and social development spokesman Phuti Seloba agreed that being HIV-positive did not mean one was condemned.

Limpopo has an infection rate of 27,5 percent and was rated as the province with the third lowest HIV-Aids infection rate last year.