An eight-year-old girl tested positive for HIV and was given four years to live. Now she’s 27 and celebrating life


A woman given just four years to live when she contracted HIV as a child is now joyfully sharing her story after celebrating her 27th birthday.

Doreen Moraa brought some much needed positivity to the coronavirus crisis as she took to Twitter to mark 20 years living with HIV.

She tested positive for HIV at the age of eight in Kenya, a different era in terms of AIDS treatment, and doctors weren’t optimistic for her future.

Thankfully, she proved them all wrong.

“2020 marks exactly 20 years since I was diagnosed with HIV,” she wrote on Twitter. “I was 8 years old when my parents were told I was HIV positive. Doctors gave me up to my 12th birthday.

“This August I’m looking forward to my 28th birthday. God is not done with me yet.”

Moraa declares herself to be “proudly powered by ARVs”, the antiretroviral drugs that revolutionised treatment in the early 90s.

These medical advances drastically slashed the mortality rate and the disease was no longer an automatic death sentence.

After being on ARVs for 14 years Mambaa’s viral load is now “undetectable”, which means she can’t spread the virus to anyone else if she remains on medication.

Though the stigma surrounding the virus remains, Moraa accepts her condition with positivity and serves as an HIV advocate for the approximately 1.5 million people living with the virus in Kenya.

“HIV does not define me but I define it. I refuse to give a tiny power to a virus that cannot speak,” she says. “I am a beautiful story, and I am greater than HIV.”