Services for the Health in Asian ＆ African Regions (SHARE) = SHARE is a citizen sector organization (NGO) that engages in international cooperation mainly through providing health service.
1997 was the year my husband got sick. At that time, those with AIDS had a very small chance of surviving the disease, and when I took him to the hospital, the doctor did not tell us that my husband was HIV-positive despite the fact that he knew. We only found out later that he was in fact HIV-positive when I took him to another hospital. When my husband found out that he was AIDS, he cried, but I tried my hardest to hide my tears.
That day, the doctor recommended me to take HIV test. The test result was positive. I was shocked, and couldn't hold my tears in this time. I felt that my life wasn't worth living, and seriously considered to commit suicide. But when I told my husband, and he blamed me and claimed that I was the one that had infected him, I held back my tears and endured the blame. What ultimately brought me out of my depression were my young children. How would they survive without me? I realized that if I left them, it would destroy their lives forever, and that I had a responsibility to raise them--one that I could not abandon.
As time went on, people in our village began to wonder if my husband was AIDS. Eventually, they started asking me whether or not I also was infected with HIV, and I replied honestly that I was. After they found out that I was infected with the virus, I began to see changes in the way other villagers treated me. I was discouraged from attending village picnics or get-togethers, and when I went shopping some of the store clerks refused to sell me food. When I encountered a villager who discriminate me, I told them that nothing they did could hurt me, and I left. Under these circumstances, there was no way that I could be employed in the village, and led a hard and lonely life taking care of my sick husband and farming.
After two years of being ridiculed and discriminated against by our village, my husband passed away. Although my village had still shown no support, my family and relatives had always looked out for me, and it was my mother who introduced me to the Sadaowan Group--SHARE's HIV/AIDS support group--the group that changed my life. Through this group, I was able to educate villagers about, and tell people my experiences living with, HIV/AIDS. The discrimination slowly went away, and I was able to live a happier life. For this I have SHARE to thank.
Since then, I have gotten remarried. At the time, 3 men asked for my hand in marriage, but after they found out that I was HIV-positive, only one stayed by my side. He is my current husband. We are now accepted in the village, and live a happy and full life with our friends and family.
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