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says Tigist Alemu


Tigist Alemu

She is one of the founders of Tilla Association of Women Living with HIV. She was born and grew up in Nazareth

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Oromia National Regional State


Tilla Association of Women Living with HIV

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She is one of the first people who exposed themselves and started teaching the society. Now, she gives a counseling service for people living with the virus under Tilla Association. "Regarding stigma and discrimination, there's a big change in the society and in us, who live with the virus. For example, when I rent a room, I tell the owners that I'm living with the virus. I never faced a problem because of this. The landlords don't care that much. It is because the problem has knocked at everyone's door. Instead, I got a lot of love because of that. I also got many visitors and friends. "This does not mean that stigma and discrimination are totally abolished." During her free time, she enjoys relaxing herself When she feels like eating a good food, she goes to the restaurant she chooses and eats what she wants. When she wants to enjoy the beauty of nature, she walks by the lakeside. She spends most of her time in the church listening to the Word o/ God. "It's difficult to say that we've reached the stage we should reach regarding behavioral change. Just like a child who is prohibited to touch something, some people are like that. It's not necessary to touch fire to check whether it burns. When we teach saying, "Let it stop on us, let generation be saved," it's to prevent people from getting into the problem, not to live in remorse." She shared us the following incident: "The man came to Awassa on business. That day I was dressed smartly. When the man told me he knew me, I thought he knew me because I teach. But I was wro9g. He told me he didn't know me and invited me for a tea, which I accepted. He told me that he was married and that his wife was pregnant. He said he'd like to have fun with me. I asked him how much he knows about AIDS. He told me he lost his elder brother because of AIDS and added that he'd be safe if he had sex with me because I didn't look I have much exposure to sex. I told him that I'm living with the virus and showed my ID. He was so shocked. He thanked me and we departed. At another time, he came to my working place and gave me a present. "HIV / AIDS is harmful. So, all of us should live carefully and observe every step we take. The virus is found in the blood. It's not in school or in the bar. You can check whether a fire burns by touching it. However, you cannot try AIDS. We've to also give love and attention to the people who are living with the virus. We've to be patient with them. Then it'll be possible to stop the transmission and minimize the chaos." Her wish is to marry the man she loves and have a family.


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