They shouldn’t be scared because that fear will kill them
“…you know, this thing of saying that ‘I am living with HIV’, I tell some people but not all the community, because some people may discriminate you and not feel comfortable with you. You see, there are those who have no information about this disease that is what makes me not want to broadcast my health situation to the community, but when I give lectures I tell those who attend it, and I tell them ‘you see, I am living with HIV since year x but until now I am alive’.
Stimga has reduced because now many people are infected. It is not like sometime ago… in 2002 and 2003 there was quite a lot of stigma… they used to say that someone can get HIV/AIDS if they are a prostitute, but now they see that even old people get this disease, stigma has reduced and the government no longer discriminates us.
I advise that [those who have not had the courage to reveal that they live with HIV] should not be scared. We activists have the work of going and visiting those people until they manage to get up… I also try to persuade them that once they start with treatment they should not stop because some people start…and then give up later on….
Those who are scared to show their face outside they shouldn’t be scared because that fear will kill them. But if they go to hospitals or health centres they will be…relieved, and the fear will disappear and they will start living normally… you should tell yourself that I have to go to hospital to get medicines and continue living… they should not think that if I go to the hospital for the HIV test my neighbour will see me then will discriminate me, they should go to hospital because it will be good for their health as well as the health of their children.
Tina Barroso, female, 47 years, Mozambique
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