- An anonymous woman has shared her experience of living with HIV
- She said she contracted it from a boyfriend she trusted
- She has called for an end to stigmatization and discrimination
A Kenyan woman has shared her sad experience of living with HIV.
Writing anonymously on standardmedia.co.ke, the woman said she contracted the condition from her previous boyfriend, whom she trusted.
He had told her that he knew his status and she believed him enough to get intimate with him. However, he had not tested for a long time, was HIV-positive and therefore infected her.
She said the discovery that she was positive deeply affected her and forced her to withdraw from society. However, she soon realized she had to get on medication, which she did.
When she decided to inform her friends, she was shocked at their reaction. It was then that she first encountered stigma and discrimination.
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The woman wrote that the harsh experience of stigma is even worse than having HIV. This is because while she is able to easily manage HIV using medication, she often has no control over how other people perceive or treat her.
Her long-term friends abandoned her. Others did not even want to shake her hand. Some viewed her as unclean and evil, while others even thought she was intent on passing on the virus.
She said that these misconceptions are "hurting and painful," adding that she hopes people would show HIV-positive people love because that's what they need.
The woman concluded: "HIV is not me. I am more than HIV. I am human just like you and I get hurt too. HIV doesn’t discriminate; it knows no race, tribe, and class so you shouldn’t discriminate too."
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