The Doctor’s statement ended my mother’s 6 months of anticipation……
My name is Sadia and I was born six months ago. Before I was born my mother wanted no more children – she already had 7. She took the reasonable step-went to the health center to access contraceptives, but she came back empty handed- the supplies were out of stock.
Shortly after, my father- a fisherman, died “mysteriously” and my mother became sick. Her worst fear was confirmed at the health center- she was both pregnant and HIV-positive. My mother was referred to a PMTCT center about 120km from her village; you guessed right, she couldn’t travel that long distance because she lacked the means. She lost her job as a maid when the news of her status got around and she became an object of ridicule in the village….
Here I am, a 6-month old HIV-positive girl born to an unemployed HIV+ positive mother of 8. What does the future hold for me? I don’t know. Will I one day wear a bright colored flowery gown and play with my pony tail as a normal 5-year old? I don’t know (3 out of every 10 children born in my society don’t survive to age 5…how much more someone living with HIV ……). If my mother couldn’t access contraceptives and ARVs, what hope do I have?
A sad story you would say, but that is the reality!
Today is World AIDS Day. This year’s theme – “Getting to Zero,” basically means Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS Related Deaths. Let us all lend our widow’s mite by contributing to awareness about prevention, treatment, care and support for HIV/AIDS patients.