“I don’t think there’s anyone to blame at this stage,” Mbongo said in response to whether she blames her parents for being born with the disease.
Adding, “I wasn’t there to blame anyone’s actions. That’s the way life goes. Even with things happening in the world today. Who do you blame? Who is the cause of many things? It goes the same with our personal lives… It’s about taking courage and saying, ‘It’s life, it’s a mistake, it’s part of my life and it’s time to take up the cross instead of wasting time blaming.'”
Horcelie couldn’t control her tears when she was crowned Miss Congo UK 2017 held at the Stratford Town Hall.
“I am happy I have won at least something in my life and my story has warmed people’s hearts and that is the most important thing,” she told the BBC.
AIDS.gov reports that relying on symptoms to tell whether you have HIV is easier said than done. In fact, symptoms of HIV vary, depending on the individual and what stage of the disease you are in: the early stage, the clinical latency stage, or AIDS.
For example, while those in the early stage of HIV may experience fever, chills, rash, muscle aches, extreme fatigue, and mouth ulcers. People progressing to AIDs may face a host of symptoms including: rapid weight loss, recurring fever, profuse night sweats, extreme tiredness, prolonged swelling of the lymph glands in the armpits, groin, or neck, diarrhea that lasts for more than a week, pneumonia and memory loss among other things.
Here in lies the importance of getting tested! The CDC recommends that, “everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. A general rule for those with risk factors is to get tested annually. Additionally, sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from getting an HIV test more often, perhaps every 3 to 6 months.”