They treated me the way they did because they were ignorant… They did not know the truth about HIV, unlike nowadays
The discrimination was caused by lack of information about HIV issues… they believed that you get HIV by having several sexual partners and such a person was a prostitute… they treated me [the way they did] because they were ignorant…
And [they] were afraid that once a person says he or she was HIV positive it meant that person was going to die and that person was a prostitute. That was why my mother felt she had to treat me as she did. It was not only my mother… They did not know the truth about HIV, unlike nowadays when information about HIV is available.
[Nowadays] people are informed about HIV and they know that you are the same as they are. It is just that the virus is in the blood. They know this…even at home…even my mother did not think of going for an HIV test [before] but one day I heard her saying she had gone for a test. Because they know now that anyone can have HIV, if you see a person walking out there you cannot say this one is HIV positive or not… they know that it might happen that you suspect someone has the virus (HIV), yet you have it. Discrimination has decreased compared to 2005 or 2006.
Zodwa Dalminii, female, 29 years, Swaziland
Every day from the 1st of July until the 21st of July we will be sharing extracts from 21 oral testimonies of 21 men and women living with HIV in Swaziland, Ethiopia and Mozambique. We’ll share these extracts here on this blog – with daily links on twitter and facebook. On the 21st of July, our partner the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) will launch a publication of these testimonies at the International AIDS conference 2014. Read more about 21 stories 21 days. Read more about the project