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Barelycoping’s Intro

January 5, 2012

Who am I? I am a 38 year old single and very independent lady from South Africa, Pretoria. I am my mother’s daughter, my brothers’ sister and my lovely nephew’s aunt. I have no child of my own and I had hoped to have at least one before I hit 40. Although the future looks bright in terms of managing the disease with the constant research done and findings made, it is still a challenge for a + woman to live a normal life. My dream of having a little one seems to be just that……A DREAM. Although it is not impossible, I must admit it is a challenge.

I was diagnosed 4 years ago and started meds almost immediately (about a month after my diagnosis). Scared as I was, I took it upon myself to read as much as I could about the virus, and ask as many questions as possible during my consultations with my doctor. I am glad to say that the virus is now undetectable and my CD count has sky-rocketed from where it was when I started medication. Although I am living a positive and healthy lifestyle, I have not yet reached a stage where I can openly disclose my status. Besides my Doctor, only three other people are aware of my status.

Why does barelycoping want to be a part of A Girl Like Me: HIV is a scary virus, but I always say to myself, everything happens for a reason. This might sound quite cliche’d but “It really is not a death sentence”. I have tried all avenues to get into contact with people (both men and women) who are in a similar situation, but I have never succeeded before. I would like to share my fears, my challenges and my joy with people who understand what it is like to live with this virus. Most importantly, I would like to share the good information that I always get every time I visit my Doctor. I would like to assist those who are struggling to accept their diagnoses and to have friends with whom I can talk to without the fear of being judged, discriminated against or being looked down at (as if we had asked for this).

More about me…Currently, I am barely-coping (as my name suggests), because the one person I had hoped will be around to give me support has started acting quite strange. Discovering this site has just come at the right time, which only puts emphasis on the point I made earlier that “everything happens for a reason”. I will not, and do not, have all the answers, but my HUGE HUG is readily available. Together we will walk this journey through the tears, fears, laughter and LOVE.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. Molly jones permalink
    January 5, 2012 1:27 pm

    I would love to get your email address so that i can share with you my greatest fears and how i have managed to tell this virus that it will not let me downor better still kill me because i will kill it before it kills me. i will and i am enjoying my life with the greatest of joy and i too thought it was a death sentence till i researched aout it. I too have only opened up to three people. This is my email address please get in touch so that we share joys, fears and become friends. you are not alone.

  2. akwir mirriam ojok permalink
    January 6, 2012 3:27 am

    hello dear, how are you hope today morning is as bright like the sun in my country Uganda, I understand your situation and all the fears. When i discover i had HIV i was afraid to tell people too even when i have worked with AIDS services organizations and provided all the services to people. I prayed hard to God to give me the courage to disclose my status and handle stigma from the community. when i disclosed it to my brother he never rejected me and showed me love, it gave the courage to tell all my friends who vanished in thin air after knowing my status. i didn’t stop i continued telling the whole world about me. in return i got love again. I met a man who loves me just as i am and we are planning to have a child without me infecting him. we have grate time together. God gave new friends too like all the girls on this site. I must say it was not a bed of roses it was a struggle amidst rejections and stigma. try to open up you deserve better and you are so beautiful and worth more than silver and Gold to God the creator he has a purpose for you.

    Have a beautiful day.

  3. January 6, 2012 10:56 am

    Dear barely coping, you are always welcome here. The meds seem to be working miracles for you. It makes me happy to hear that kind of good news.

    I send you peace and courage. Gisele

  4. barely_coping permalink
    January 7, 2012 4:08 pm

    Thank you all for the warm welcome. I’m due for my bloods and I’m hoping for good news. As for my relationship, it looks a bit gloomy. Well, I have decided to invest more energy into my health, work and studies. Eliminating stress and stressful situations is priority for me now. All the best to you all and stay strong.

    HUGS …………

    • Positive vibrations permalink
      January 27, 2012 10:48 am

      Hi Barely_coping, I’m an HIV positive lady based in Johannesburg. Maybe we can chat sometime. My email address is Would love to hear from you

  5. Manoko permalink
    February 7, 2012 9:55 am

    I just started my medication to day after a year of being +.I have been through hell but i know God has been grate and i hope he wil give me more years to come so that i can live to see my daughter gratuating and the beautiful brothers and sister i m just looking for a friend.My email address is and i believe every thing happens for a reason

  6. February 7, 2012 1:31 pm

    Barely_coping we seem to be going through a similar ordeal. I would love to chat more.

  7. Barely_Coping permalink
    February 8, 2012 12:01 pm

    @ Positive Vibrations, Manoko and Paleora2..thanks for touching base with me. I would definately love to chat more and share experiences. Oh by the way, my intiative of concentrating on my health, work and studies is doing wonders for me. And I have come to realize that life is for the living. Lets live our lives ladies…..Like the beautiful Divas that we are (*wink *wink @ tatty2good).

  8. liza permalink
    February 9, 2012 6:31 am

    i am doing a drama piece and playing a girl who has just foun dout that she has HIV is there any advice you could give me to help me know how it feels when you have just found out that you have got this virus and i am glad that you have shared your story if it was me i would be too scared to share this.

    • Barely_Coping permalink
      February 16, 2012 7:52 am

      Hi Liza,

      Please pardon the late response, it has been hectic at work and my academic life as well. Well, where do I start? I suppose the beginning is always a good place. Finding out my status was like the world crushing down on me. Fortunately, this feeling did not stay with me for long as I took it upon myself to research and know more about the disease. I cannot say I was not scared, because that would amount to not being truthful. I am happy to say that today, I am undetectable and living life to the fullest. I do not miss my Dr’s appointments and I ask as many questions as I can. Relationships are the hardest BUT I have come to realize that life is not only about that. There is so much more to live and be grateful for. I have recently discovered, through AGLM, a website for + people looking for love, and I am hopeful that all will be well soon. The most important thing I have come to realize is that keeping yourself happy is of utmost importance.Being HIV positive is definately not the end, instead, it is the beginning. It is the beginning of appreciation, love and respect.
      Hope my two cents worth will assist you in your drama piece and do not hesitate to ask any questions should a need arise.

      HUGS……To all the wonderful Divas

  9. Rechal permalink
    February 9, 2012 8:32 am

    dear Barely_Coping, i am just a kid who happens to be surfing the web at an HIV research center, although my age is very young i admire your strength and would love to offer you a big warm hug , i am not hiv + but would like to support every hiv positive african women who is struggling , i am a huge fan and please stay strong so that you could inspire many other who lack your strength, ❤ ❤ ❤

    • Barely_Coping permalink
      February 16, 2012 7:59 am

      Dear Rechal,
      Keep you negative status as your pride my dear. Thanks for teh support.

      HUGGING u right back

  10. Mano permalink
    February 9, 2012 1:21 pm

    Greetings from Durban. Its been 7 yrs and I still take it ine day at a time, one foot infront of the other. We will live our lives fully even if we just barely coping

  11. Lala permalink
    February 16, 2012 6:44 am

    Hi Barely

    Im glad to hear this its very nice to know gore you not alone going thru this i was discovered yesterday that im HIV+ i am not stressing that much but i think i need a person to talk to about all of this things and learn more than what i know i also stay in Pretoria maybe we can meet and have a chat reading your article has just lifted my spirit higher. Ngiyabonga cc you have just made my day its people like you needed in our +lives. You just made me realise that dis is not a death senctence. *crying*

    • Barely_Coping permalink
      February 16, 2012 8:13 am

      Hi Lala, sorry about that.

      I must say props to you for not stressing about this as stressing tends to cloud our judgements. But, I must also let you know that there will be phases that you go through, like depression, seeking answers, crying or justifications etc. All these are normal and once you have gone through them, and are in a postion to accept your status, it really becomes easier.

      Im sending you a HUGE HUG and hope it will wipe your tears away….


    • barelycoping permalink
      March 29, 2012 3:48 am

      Hi Lala ( I looovvvvveeee your name),

      Hope you are doing fine on this rainy day.

      You mentioned that you reside in Pretoria……please ask Krista to arrange for a 1 on 1 with me so we can touch base and have a meet and greet. I would love to put a face behind the name.

      Hope to hear from you soon………Life is beautiful……



  12. February 23, 2012 12:09 pm

    After reading all this,I must say iam much relived,I was diagnoised 7years ago this june.and I havve lived a life of self stigmatation, because of the people I live with and has not been easy, I have taken time to find out about this virus by taking part in programmes like psyco social counselling and peer education,I wil soon be certified as a trainer of trainees(tot).knowing that there people like me out there makes me smile,I know its not a death sentence.let’s enjoy life will only live once,let us interact and then laugh about it. Hugs and kisses. Diva mama

  13. March 7, 2012 10:00 am

    Wow ladies! It’s still a shock to me but most days I’m fine. I’m also optimistic and generally feel this is not the end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Its been a year and a bit and no one else but my doctor knows. With time I will share but me first…..

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