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"LACK OF AWARENESS EXPOSED ME TO THE VIRUS! "

says Etsub Dink

Etsub Dink

She is now thirty-one years old. She has a seven- years-old boy who doesn't know his parents. She was born and grew up in a small town in Gojam. Her parents live on farming. She is the 8th child.

Gender :

Female

Country :

Ethiopia

Residence Region :

Amhara National Regional State

Association:

Tilla Association of Women Living with HIV

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�Where I grew up, a girl marries when she is very kid. My parents gave me to a farmer as a wife when I was fourteen. He was not my age. The next year I became a mother. It's difficult for a child to be a mother and run a house." When she explained why her marriage crumbled� "There was a woman from my village who refused to get married and live in a town. When she came home, I was attracted to her dresses and life in the town. I left my child and I ran away to Bahir Dar. What I found there was not as I expected. It was very difficult to get a job. For the time being I started roasting grain (Asharo) for people for 5 birr. I quitted this and went to Wolega to look for a better job. It was the same. Finally I came to Awassa." Etsub Dink didn't get what she expected in Awassa. She met her future husband when she was living by selling roasted grain, 'Kalla'. "While selling roasted grain and washing clothes for people, I met a man who was a displaced (he was living with his sister) and we got married. In the middle, it became my duty to take care of his seriously sick sister. She died after a long period of sickness. I learned later that she died because of AIDS. After two years I had a blood test and was told that I'm living with the virus." The response she got from her husband after she heard her result in 1994 was saddening. "When I told him that I'm living with the virus, he forced me to leave the house with my child. He says he is free from the virus. I don't know if that's true. I refused to leave after all the care I gave to his sister. Because I took the matter to court, I live now in the same compound in a small 'house built for me by an NGO." "In my opinion, it was when I was taking care of my husband's sister that I was infected. May be it was due to my sexual relationship. But the main point is that I was exposed to the virus because I didn't take the necessary caution due to lack of awareness. Other people should learn from me and protect themselves. Nowadays, changes are being seen in the society. Many people want to know about themselves. This is a nice change."

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