lundi, décembre 18, 2006

How did you learn about your HIV positive status and how you caught the disease?

Pierrette suspected that her husband was HIV positive when he began having fevers and chronic illnesses. As her husband’s health wasn’t improving, her in-laws decided to take matters into their own hands. The sick man, was taken to the town of Dolisie by his sister and his wife. When they arrived at Dolisie, the he was hospitalized and the doctor requested an AIDS test for him. The results were positive but the doctor didn’t inform Pierrette. Only the patient and his sister were told.

Even though Pierrette hadn’t learned much about her husband’s illness, her sister-in-law’s unusual behavior made her suspicious. However, the other patients in the hospital did know and were astounded by Pierrette’s ignorance.

Her sister-in-law’s behavior combined with the odd behavior of the other hospital patients around her led Pierrette to demand an explanation from her and her sister-in-law told Pierrette that both she and her husband were HIV positive. The news upset Pierrette so much that she immediately returned to Pointe-Noire, intending to be tested for HIV but despite all she had been through Pierrette couldn’t work up the courage to be tested. Two months later, she began succumb to the effects of the disease and the stress of her traumatic experiences.

Wanting to finally confirm the state of her health, Pierrette got the test, which revealed that she was HIV positive. Since then, she has been on ARVs from the local AIDS Mobile Treatment Centers (CTA or Centres de Traitement Ambulatoire) and has otherwise been leading a normal life. Pierrette is living proof of how quickly one can succumb to AIDS if one isn’t mentally prepared but she also shows others that accepting the realities of the disease allows people to live dignified long lives.

For more information our HIV/AIDS projects in Pointe-Noire please follow this link.

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