No one should be ever be discriminated against because of their health, especially those who are HIV AIDS positive. Unfortunately, however, discrimination and stigma undermine such people in their societies to the extent that some cannot share the same space with infected people. In addition, many people worldwide are experiencing stigma in their communities because of their status.
Today I landed at Kiwa village, where Carrol lives with her parents after her husband had chased her away because of her status. Carrol is a public eye in the village, something which causes her to sink every day. Carrol’s future is uncertain since it is difficult for Carrol’s family to take care of her. In addition, AIDS stopped her dream of becoming a mother. However, through education of the good news (Gospel), Carrol overcame fear and stigma for a moment.
“I had rumors that my husband is HIV AIDS positive. And I was acutely aware of HIV as it affected people around us. I regularly tested for HIV, always with negative results- until I was shocked with positive results,” said Carrol. “After diagnosis, I was afraid and lonely,” she added. HIV illness can be managed like any other medical condition. If you get educated about HIV, you can overcome fear and stigma. If you adhere to treatment and ensure your viral load is undetectable.
JFM is giving hope to the hopeless. What a relief!