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"WE SHOULDN'T BE AFRAID TO HAVE A BLOOD TEST! "

says Alemitu Teshome

ID19Alemitu

Alemitu Teshome

She is civil servant and a mother of two children.

Gender :

Female

Country :

Ethiopia

Residence Region :

Ethiopia

Association:

Tilla Association of Women Living with HIV

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"Till recently, I never faced stigma and discrimination. Recently, the discrimination I faced from my landlords broke my heart. They asked me to leave the house after I lived there for a longtime. Even if they tried to give me many reasons, I knew that it was because they knew that I'm living with the virus. They don't say it in front of me. Rather they insult their children in my presence saying, 'Don't be lax. Otherwise, you'll bring AIDS.' They even separated the things we use to cook food." Though she was made to leave the house because of discrimination, the support she gets in her office is a great encouragement. "Where I work they transferred me from production area to an information desk, where the burden is less. This is a great support to me. "I think there is some change regarding behavior. Now people get a blood test before marriage. That I think is a big change. But the behavior of some people is equally saddening and what you don't expect at this time where AIDS is rampant. On the other hand, many people don't have the courage to have a blood test or they don't want. This should be changed." She shared us her experience regarding the behavior of some people. "Recently, while I was waiting for a taxi, a young man who was driving a car offered me a ride. I agreed. He was fast in trying to get what he wanted. Without beating around the bush, he asked me to pass sometime with him after work. I tried to tell softly that he's to be careful for he might get HIV. Pretending as if he didn't hear what I said, he asked where we could meet. When I understood that he was not joking, I told him that I'm a member of Tilla. "What's the problem with that since there's condom?' he said. I explained to him that condom could be tom during intercourse and sometimes the virus could be transmitted due to misuse of it. He cooled off when I told him that he shouldn't darken his and his family's future for instant satisfaction. When I reached to my destination, I asked him if he ever had a blood test. But he drove away without responding. " Alemitu spends her spare time by going to church. She enjoys walking along the lakeside with her children and sisters. "After working hours, I am taking basic computer courses. I want to lead a successful life after finishing my study. The other big wish I have is to build my own house. If my children and I have our own house, we will never face the isolation and discrimination by the landlords. If the society loves us, who are living with HIV, and if we could live with the society in understanding and compassion, I believe we can stop the virus from spreading."

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