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Working with the world's poorest people to transform their lives

Dealing with HIV - more success

Faith, aged 40, tells her story in her own words.

Stigma is a serious problem that everyone must work hard to get rid of.

When I was diagnosed HIV positive in 2004, after a period of prolonged on-and-of illness, people I depended upon to help me, especially my boyfriend, abandoned me. Relatives of my boyfriend also cast me away. My own relatives wouldn’t accept me. Before I was diagnosed HIV positive, I went to stay with my sister and her husband who felt for me and tried to help. But when her husband got to know my status, he threatened to leave my sister if she insists that I stay in the house.

At first, it was very difficult for me and my daughter, but with counseling help from the ELWA hospital counseling department, medication, food supply and training, I am now working alongside the Department in some of their projects and at least can make living for myself.

From my own observation within communities that we go to do HIV and AIDS awareness, I am beginning to see that stigma is reducing. Before then, when we declared our status publicly, response from the audience was not very friendly. But now, when we declare our status, people are more concerned about our wellbeing and want to know more about the disease. It makes me feel much better.

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