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"KNOWING MY CONDITION HELPED ME!"
says Amarech Meskele


ID2Amarech



Amarech Meskele

She is twenty-years-old. She was born and raised in Awassa. She is the 10th child for her daily laborer parents. She lives with them.


Gender :

Female

Country :

Ethiopia

Residence Region :

Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Regional States

Association:

Tilla Association of Women Living with HIV




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"I'm sleeping in a room where my elder brother used to sleep. What makes us similar is that we both have HIV in our blood. Our difference is he is not alive and I'm living knowing my status." "I couldn't proceed farther in my education. I used to spend most of my time selling sugarcane in front of a school because my parents were poor. My dream as a child was to put the money I get by selling sugar cane together and become a successful merchant and save my family from poverty. My dream didn't become a reality. "When I was 16, I used to attend a night school. There was' a young man who used to buy sugarcane from me and leave the change with me. One day, while I was coming from school, he waited for me and took me by force to a dark comer. I tried to escape, but I couldn't. I cried for help, no one came to my rescue. He raped me." Even if her family took the matter to court, the person who raped her couldn't be found. "Not long after this that my friend introduced me to a person she said was a driver. I started to pass some time with him. Most of the time he gives me different reasons when I asked him where his car was. After we separated I heard that he was not a driver. He was jobless. That was not the shocking news to me. The shocking news was that he died all too suddenly." His sister told Amarech that her brother had died of AIDS. Amarech, advised and encouraged by her sister, went to VCT center to have a blood test. She was told she is living with the virus. "I was terribly shocked. It was something I didn't expect because it's been 3 years since I broke up with the man. How can I expect to be caught by it?" At this time, Amarech is a member of Tilla and teaches going wherever the association assigns her to. Her income is the little money she gets from the association for the sensitization work she is doing. "Knowing my condition helped me a lot. This is because I kept away from unnecessary things that can affect my health. When I teach, I usually give more attention to women. They can easily be exposed to the virus. I'd like to advise them strongly not to be led by their girl friends and expose themselves."

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