HIV/AIDS activist Phenny Awiti recounts battling coronavirus in Germany

Phenny Awiti
Phenny Awiti. [Photo: KSN]

Phenny Awiti, a Kenyan activist on HIV/AIDS has recounted how she has survived COVID-19 with her HIV positive status.

Phenny recalled giving birth to her third-born son just when COVID-19 pandemic was declared in the country.

Sadly, she says that the father to her son had returned to Germany a week earlier and when the pandemic came, she was devastated because she could not get the financial support from Germany where her husband is based.

“Two days after his departure, Kenya announced a ban on all international flights. I was devastated! Locked down from receiving the support I needed from the father, barely a week old from surgery and with three children in the house, I was crushing. As if that was not enough, my househelp learnt that I was HIV positive and she slowly slipped off,” she wrote in her column on the Nairobian.

Two months later, she fell into depression but would later travel to Germany after August 1 when international flights resumed.

Upon arrival, she got tested for COVID-19 together with her five-month-old baby and proceeded for a two-week self-quarantine at home. Two days after her arrival, she tested positive for COVID-19 but she was asymptomatic.

She had to isolate in the house until the tenth day when she developed complications and informed the health department who responded fast.

“I received all the necessary care I could ever ask for. The police and Ministry of Health called me daily to confirm if the symptoms were showing or not. As a person living with HIV, I was scared. But I consoled myself because I had no active symptoms.”

Fourteen days in isolation, she finally tested negative but did not let her guard down.

Phenny writes that she suspects contracting the virus on the plane on her way to Germany.