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says Yordanos Abay


Yordanos Abay

She is now 24. She was born and grew up in Asmara

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Tigray National Regional State


Tilla Association of Women Living with HIV

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She spent most of her life with the army. When she was a child, her father went abroad and didn't come back. Her mother married another man. Her stepfather was a soldier. He took the family to Wolaiyta Sodo when the previous regime fell down. They tried to live in countryside around. Sodo with the family of her stepfather "With my mother I came to Wolaiyta Sodo as a small kid. Because my mother couldn't agree with my stepfather, we started living in Sodo. My mom was not successful in life. After being sick for a long time, she died. When she was sick, we started living with a woman who was from the same place as my mother. This woman was a merchant. Even after my mom's death, we continued living there." Yordanos could not agree with the woman they were living with. So, she went to Shashemene. A/that time, she couldn't speak Amharic well. She started living with the only people who could understand her-the army. "When I was 13, I started working for them (the army). I used to wash their clothes, buy things they needed and do many other things. "In 1995, I married one soldier. After I gave birth to my first child, his friend killed my husband. Thus, our marriage ended abruptly." Even if Yordanos lost her husband, she continued living with the army. She married for the second time. During the Ethio-Eritrean conflict she followed her husband toward the north, to the war front. "Though I delivered my second child safely, she got sick and died after some time. I also started getting sick quite often. I especially suffered for a longtime from lung sickness. Moreover, my life became full of problems when my husband disappeared." Because her health was becoming worse and worse, Yordanos took her daughter to Wolaiyta Sodo to introduce her to her sisters. "My guardian didn't reject me when I went to her after 9 years. After introducing my daughter to my sisters, I came to Awassa. Because my health was deteriorating and I had contracted Herpes Zoster, my friends convinced me to have a blood test. The result was positive." Primarily she was a member of Dawn of Hope Association. Now she is a member of Tilla. With the money she gets by teaching about HIV she lives with her daughter. Yordanos says, "There is still discrimination.�


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