Photo Stories: African Women and Kids
Affected by AIDS Share their Lives


Caroline Kompe

Caroline Kompe is 32 years old and lives in the township of Khayelitsha in a shack with water and electricity. She is separated from her husband and lives alone with her 3 1?2 year old son. She is currently a mentor at The Mothers Programmes.

Caroline moved to Cape Town from the Free State in 2001 and got married. When she discovered that she was HIV positive, she found it very difficult to disclose her status to her husband, as she had no family in Cape Town, wasn't working, and was worried about being rejected. After telling her husband (it took nearly a year) her husband tested for HIV and, discovering that he was negative, he and his family began treating her poorly for "bringing HIV into the family." This is also when he started beating her until, in 2004, he moved out. She took him back but things got bad again so she left to visit her family and, when she returned, found that he had sold everything. She had to start over and survived only because of her pay from The Mothers Programmes. Her second baby was born during this difficult time and, in August 2005, while in the creche (daycare), he "went to sleep and never woke up."

Caroline participated in this project to share her story and help others. With tuition paid through the project, Caroline went on to photo school in Cape Town and then received a full scholarship to Stellenbosch University.

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photos by this person (click to view larger):

Skin on Skin
Caroline Kompe

Uncle in His Home
Caroline Kompe

HIV Regimen
Caroline Kompe

photos of this person (click to view larger):


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I want to be alive when the cure comes. Whatsoever there is that tries to stop me, I will jump over it. Nothing can stop me.
Nozandulela Samela
Cape Town project participant

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