I am useful for society, I am equal to someone who is not infected
‘I wanted to work to sustain my family. But when I went back to the bank they already know I was HIV-positive so they dismissed me… Just because I am HIV positive that does not mean that I cannot work. I am useful for society, I am equal to someone who is not infected by this disease, but they were the bosses and they have the power. I couldn’t do anything except go home. I did not have anyone to defend me; I did not have a lawyer.
Now that I have attended some courses, I would do something like go to the companies and tell them that there is a law about people living with HIV/AIDS. But it was before the law and my traineeship. But now that I am trained, if one day I get a job and if by chance, someone talks ill of me I will prosecute him, because now I know the procedures.
In 2007 I had the idea of creating an association… I could see people dying for lack of information, knowledge and explanation. From what I had learned in hospitals, I could teach about HIV/AIDS symptoms. I decided to join up with another 10 members, sort out the documents, and create an official association. We started explaining to people how to stop themselves from getting HIV/AIDS and to prevent its spread.
I feel good because even people in the community who know that I am HIV-positive cannot believe it because of the activities that I do, because of my health and power to work.’
Mateus Macuva, male, 57 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