I am HIV positive, I am Healthy and I am proud of it. More than that I am a super girl in my eyes and I don't care what others thinks about me. But my dream is to make a better society. I can't say that I can make a discrimination-free society but yes, I can surely say that I can help to make a better place for PLHIV. I don't want to see discrimination by society for being HIV positive.
Hello everyone, this is me, Mary Faustina from Nepal. I am 22 yrs old and I am HIV positive by birth. I found myself HIV positive when I was 6 or 7 (I forgot which year). At the same time my father and mother died because of HIV (father died when I was 6 and mother died when I was 7 because of HIV). At that time I faced many discrimination by society but my family helped me a lot. When I found myself HIV positive I changed schools many times and at that time there was not enough knowledge about HIV in our society in comparison to now. And when I was 9 years old I used to think that when I will be 10 years old then I will die because at that time I heard that people living with HIV only live 10 years.
My life turning point was my hostel. My family set me in hostel (named Karuna Bhawan). I was very happy because there I can see all people like me (HIV positive). I can share my problems with them and ask many questions. I got the chance to study there. I want to give all thanks to Karuna Bhawan because whoever I am now is just because of Karuna Bhawan. I got a chance to study, good food, good treatment and all physical and mental support. Karuna Bhawan always fulfilled my parents' gap. I studied there up to 12.
After that I worked with Sneha Samaj which solely works with women and children living with HIV and AIDS as a CHBC Mobilizer (community home based service) for 2 years.
Now, I am working for National Federation of Women Living with HIV and AIDS/YKAP NEPAL (NFWLHA is YKAP Nepal secretariat) here in Nepal which empowers young key affected population and helps them to raise their unheard voices providing them a platform to unite with a strong single voice. I am Program Coordinator in YKAP Nepal and also a National Focal Point of Youth LEAD, which is a growing network of young leaders from key affected populations of HIV/AIDS in Asia Pacific who demonstrate leadership roles in their communities. I directly work with young key affected population and I am also advocating for the needs and rights of young key population by participating in different national and international forums.
Why Mary wants to be part of A Girl Like Me: I want to be part of A Girl Like Me because I think being HIV positive is not end of life but starting of new courageous life. I want to be an encouragement to all people, a role model to others to show that HIV positive people are also part of community and we all are equal.