With the name of Brave Young Girl
I am a 23-year-old single mother. My son is now 6 years old. I live in Uganda, in Rwamwanja refugee camp; for the past 15 years I have had many personal difficulties, I was born with HIV/AIDS and my mother passed away when I was one year old.
I stayed with my father, I started to get sick from time to time, always in the hospital. My father decided to take me to a friend who worked at the school. By then I was in elementary school; a woman was giving me medicine. One day I asked her why she gave me medicine every day if I was not sick, and had no cough or fever, she told me that “we were trying to protect you from coughing.”
I wondered why only me…why not others…this happened when I was in fourth grade.
In 7th grade I was taken to an appointment with my father, I asked the health worker what was wrong with me and he told me that I was born HIV positive, so from that moment on I had to take the medication correct and every day without missing to not die.
From that appointment, I started taking the medication every day, but I encountered many problems at school and in the community as they wondered what the medication I was taking was for.
When they found out I had HIV/AIDS and they started to distance themselves from me.
This is what happens in my day-to-day life:
- If I use a cup or a plate, they throw it away.
- I can’t even play with those I grew up with.
- I started to feel ugly, to feel dead.
- I started to feel like life was over with me, I was going through a lot of stigma.
- And all my family doesn’t realize it, because they are busy with their own affairs.
I was left alone on this journey, so later I decided to focus on my situation, as I was advised by health workers and other people I met in the hospital.
So now I educate others about HIV care and treatment, I am very outspoken in my community to break the stigma and lead a modern positive life.
Now I don’t let HIV define me because HIV is my journey!!!!
HIV is not for specific people, everyone is at risk, so how do we end this?
This is my story
Under the name of Brave Young Girl!!!!