Starting HIV Treatment to Replace Bad Memories With Good Ones

Part of the Series My First Pill

Nombeko Cynthia Mpongo
Nombeko Cynthia Mpongo

It was 16th August 2006, on a very cold Wednesday. I had to write down the names of my own pills in my folder, as I was experiencing the lack of human resource in our country. My meds were d4T, 3TC and stocrin (efivarenz). My friend looked at me and said, "Is it that time already?" I smiled and said, "Yes it is, I am getting my life back on track."

I started the pills exactly at 19h00 when SABC Zulu news started. It was a good experience, having chosen that specific date to start. It was the exact same date I got HIV in my body in a brutal gang rape. Choosing that date helped me forget about rape and only had in mind what to do next that I have my life again. When I was raped in 1997, there was no treatment and also when I was diagnosed after several tests there was no treatment in my country except for very sick people who were on trials.

I am happy that I am still taking my same first pills and now with the better version after phasing out d4T with TDF. I am happy and living my life as always!!

Nombeko Cynthia Mpongo is a guest blogger from South Africa.

What was your first pill? Whether it was AZT or Atripla, we want you to tell your story! Write out your story (between 200 and 1,000 words, please!) or film a YouTube video, and email it to We'll be posting readers' My First Pill stories here in our Resource Center on Starting HIV Treatment.

Read other stories in this series.