Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Reflections on Boipelo's Life

Boipelo's death particularly touched me. I guess part of the reason I felt affected was because she was so young and full of life. She was also one of the first people I knew who died from an Aids related illness. It's not that Boipelo ever told me or Betty that she was HIV positive, afterall very few people will disclose their HIV status to anyone in Botswana (or elsewhere for that matter) but we knew she was 'sick'. All who knew her knew she was 'sick'. No one ever described her as anything other than 'sick'. No one would ever openly say 'I suspect that Boipelo's illness is AIDS related'. I'd know that the other person knew and they'd know that I knew but neither of us could ever say it!

Weeks after Boipelo's death I spoke to a doctor friend of mine. He confirmed that Boipelo had been treated for HIV but that she had not adhered to the strick regime of taking her Anti-retrovirals. Apparently as her health seemingly improved she returned to her party-girl lifestyle and gave up on her treatment. She was young and reckless in that sense but I too was fearless in my youth. I drove my car too fast, I took risks and did things that were potentially life threatening. Most people would say the same. Boipelo took the risk of not taking her pills. She didn't live to tell her story though....

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