Lesotho: I was infected with AIDS through rape

Date: September 9, 2014
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It was on the 11th July. It was about 2 o’clock in the morning when a man came to my house and knocked. I woke up and asked who it was and he replied and said that he was my neighbour’s son and that he needed help, his mother was sick. Thinking of my neighbour, I went to the door to open it so that I could go and give a helping hand. By the time I got outside he was a bit ahead of me. I walked very fast so that I could go and help.
My name is Anna, and I am from Ha mabekenyane. When I passed this boy he had covered his head with his blanket, and I did not see his face. Immediately I passed him he caught me by the neck, he caught me very hard so that I could not scream. When he came near me I saw that he was not the person I thought he was; he had lied about his name. This man tricked me by wearing the same blanket as my neighbour’s son.
I asked the man what he was looking for from me; he said he was looking for me. I am exactly what he wanted since I am old and cannot fight. He raped me and after he was done, he ran as fast as he could. After he was done I screamed but it was already too late, my neighbour whom the rapist said he was from came to help and I explained to her. She was with the son whom the man had said he was. I went to see the chief and he directed me to the hospital for confirmation of the rape. They found out that it was real and I was even infected with HIV and AIDS.
When I found out that I was HIV positive I could not bear it. I was sick spiritually and physically, I tried in so many ways to end my life, why did he come to me while there are so many people. I am old and stay with my grandchildren and there is no one to take care of them, but I suddenly realised that there is more to life than that.
The man who raped me was caught, and he is still in correctional services serving his sentence of 27 years. By the time he raped me he had already raped another girl, for her case he was sentenced to 15 years. To see that this man already had a case against him showed that he wanted to spread the disease. He was a very young boy who did not show this kind of behaviour when he was growing up. I was surprised and humiliated by the young boy who is young enough to be my son.
I just knew the boy. I owed him nothing. There was no reason to think that maybe he wanted to infect me because of what I did to him. He was young and I do not know why he picked on me among the many. This boy showed that he was a master of disguise because when growing up he did not show any sign that he would commit a crime. His act of disguising himself as someone else was what tricked me. I was scared to death when he grabbed me by my throat. I wondered why such a small child would do such an abominable act. I would not even have suspected him a little because things like those were rare in our village. I am saying this because some of the police believed that I was careless to go out at that time thinking that I was different, that things like that would not happen to me.
I am an old lady who was born in 1958, at Phamong but married in Berea in Senekane where this happened to me. My grandchildren were very supportive together with my daughter. When I told them that I was infected with HIV they were even more hurt than I was, they supported me through these hard times. The sent me to hospitals, they also took all my shame when people did not want to be associated with me. They took care of me and I am getting proper care.

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