jeudi, décembre 07, 2006

HIV/AIDS, simple acts that evoke hope

At least 1,500 people are infected with HIV/AIDS each year in the city of Pointe-Noire. AZUR Développement [AZUR Development] with the support of Help the Hospices has initiated a project to aid 100 people living with HIV/AIDS, primarily women, in Pointe-Noire.

Here are real stories recounted by our team in the field who are bringing support to the beneficiaries of this project.

“This morning, we are going to visit four people living with HIV/AIDS - three women and one man”, said the project’s manager.

Josée [name has been changed to protect her identity] is in her fifties. Her lover was once hospitalised and when sent to hospital was administered an HIV/AIDS test. Faced with his own health, he returned home only to pack all of his things and leave.

She learned of her own serology at the hospital and was quite traumatised. The doctor, not being prepared, had great difficulty in announcing all her clinical results. He hid the fact she was HIV-positive. Thanks to the insistence of her youngest sister, the doctor sent the two to the Ambulatory Treatment Centre [ATC], where those suffering from AIDS are treated, along with a letter of recommendation but without the results. It was at ATC that Josée retook the test and was told she was HIV-positive. She has been undergoing treatment since 2001.

She lives with her 33-year-old son – he’s a mechanic. Her former lover is a soldier. They run into each other at ATC but have not spoken since the day he packed his bags and left.

She has a small kiosk and would like to start selling other products so to maintain an active lifestyle.

The widowed 40-year-old man has eight children, three of whom are in his care. His name is Maurice. He has been on the antibiotic bactrim since 2002; his wife passed away in December 2003. He does nothing except sell kalaba clay, which comes from the Kinshasa region. At times he sells salted fish; however, due to lack of resources he has abandoned his small trade. If supported, he could do some truck farming. His parents do not know of his serology; only his brother-in-law and one of his younger brothers occasionally come to help him.

He fears being discriminated. Maurice tries to take care of himself by applying the nutritional advice he received at group talks organised by AZUR Development and the association ESPOIR.

“He lives like all four people visited – in a dwelling made of wood planks.”

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