Do Not Punish Yourself When Stigmatized

Submitted on Oct 11, 2017 by  Lynn

I went for my usual clinic at my facility and it is routine to take pregnancy test before collecting medicine. I remember after taking the test, four of us were expectant. During this period, I was still suffering from stigmatization. But this was not only me, there was a lady also who was passing through the same. We were taken for counseling and through counseling we were asked about our views and how we felt. I was filled with fear because in my mind I knew that when you are HIV Positive you cannot give birth to a healthy child. This is what one of my colleagues was also thinking and she just came up and told the counselor that "I will not live to see my child taking medicine for the entirety of her life like me. I won't allow it." I didn’t know what exactly she meant. After we were booked for a support group for expectant ladies, we were able to get more information. It was unfortunate that my colleague showed twice only, then disappeared. After some time, we received news that she passed on while doing illegal abortion. That news hit me bad. I wished to have gotten the opportunity to be more close to her and teach her that being HIV Positive, you can still give birth to negative children by following instructions given and adherence to medication.

To my fellow ladies, do not lose hope quickly in life. Have patience and share with others in your support group to find out about what you don't know. Knowledge is power.

Submitted by kmartel

Thank you for sharing your story, and I am so sorry that that woman died because of stigma, misinformation and myths around HIV that continue to live on. This is why it is so important for us to continue to share information and empower each other. <3

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