Toivon päivä 2019 - Toivon tarinoita

Hiv-epidemia voitetaan kestävällä kehityksellä ja naisten ja tyttöjen aseman parantamisella – Globaalin vastuun aika ei ole ohi.

Tänä Toivon päivänä yhdessä Hivpointin ja Väestöliiton kanssa haastamme Suomen mukaan maailman hiv-talkoisiin. Lue Toivon päivän tarinat Anastacialta, Phennyltä ja Zipporahilta. 
Positiiviset on viettänyt Toivon päivää 4.6. vuodesta 2004 lähtien tuodakseen esiin hivin hoitoon ja hivin kanssa elämiseen liittyviä edistysaskelia.

 

Phenny:

This is a story of a woman who felt empty in this room, damaged, destroyed, done with.
A woman who does not know what Self esteem is no more. A woman who got pregnant at 22 and immediately conceived when the first child was only 4 months old.

A story of a sad woman who gave birth to her first child all alone in the hospital after 72 hours of non stop labour pains, a hospital that was full of Professional and Trained Nurses. This is a story of a woman who believed in love, and believed in nothing else.

A story of a woman hiding her tears, insecurities and fears behind the beautiful wild smiles she gives everyday.A story of a woman from the village that just learned the ways of the modern town at 18 years.

This is a story of a woman battling depression after being rejected with over 15 men because of disclosing her HIV Status to them. This is an African woman, who ended up raising her kids single handedly, sacrificing her happiness to see her kids happy. She happens to raise these babies free from HIV, going against all odds to create a society free from stigma. 

This is the story of a woman who doesn't seek sympathies after all she has been through! A woman that won't take any negative energy anymore, from anyone. This is a story of an African Woman living with HIV and facing judgements on her status.

This is a story of a bold Queen who cannot be moved by anything whatsoever, because she has been HIV Positive for 27 years, and it is enough to deal with, for her. A story of a woman who lived in the Ghetto at only 7 years old, seeing her mother destroyed for refusing to be wife inherited after the death of her husband. This is the story of a total orphan who doesn't throw pitty parties no more! 

This is the story of an African Woman being celebrated today.
It is the story of Phenny Awiti.

Anastacia: 
Reasons people don't test for HIV. Difficulties in HIV testing is brought about by the fact that most people don't have the right information about HIV. I was at a technical institution about a week ago where we had gone there for a HIV sensitization and the first day was basically to give out information on why testing was important and the general knowledge about HIV. And we saw a huge number of students flocking in for testing which was overwhelming. I personally think if we can do such activities and information tours we can be able to get everyone to test and get them to know their HIV status.

 

Zipporah: 

Statistically, in most of the Sub Saharan Countries in Africa girls and women are the most affected by issues around SRH and the rate of those infected by HIV is also higher than the men in the same region. From our own, The Kenya Aids Progress Report 2018 women above 15 were 864,600 while the men were 523,600. Women are a key population as there are factors not limited to gender inequalities and harmful practices that promote unsafe sex and limit access to health services meaning young women are often prevented from gaining access to HIV treatment and do not have the final say in their own healthcare decisions.

As women, it is time we took up these spaces that focus on the HIV response as we are the most affected population. A lot of advocacy to ensure our voices are not only listened to but our contributions are also put into practice. With women in these spaces, it will ensure that HIV is looked at holistically and not working it from one gender. Looking at HIV in both men and women then advises the kind of interventions to be put in place to reduce the number of new infections amongst the population. As an advocate for young women in the HIV response, it is my responsibility to educate my constituency in the new developments in this fight and also give feedback to them on any queries that affect their well-being.

In fighting this epidemic our efforts will only be successful if we are ready to have full integration of Sexual Reproductive Health Services and HIV. As it is they are independent of each other, therefore the much work done towards ending HIV is futile. These two should work hand in hand, HIV [prevention falls under SRH. If the services are not offered together well lose out on so much.

In my community, HIV has never been a topic to be discussed. As a young woman living with HIV I have had to learn what I know about it from my exposure in its response. Were it not for this I'd most probably be here. Even with the great work being done in terms of interventions and educating the community on HIV, there's still this perception of it being a killer disease. With this fear, disclosure becomes a difficult topic to bring up. Example: Adherence amongst those serodiscordant relationships and haven't disclosed becomes poor, their retention to care is also affected. Demystifying HIV has to be the biggest challenge as it is also the reason why people are afraid to test. Most people have an unfounded fear of living with HIV. They do not see beyond the stigma, the number of drugs they’d have to take, and for how long you'd have to take them, the often getting sick, the growing thin, the death. Instead of not worrying about all this, they'll choose not to test. Although it is never the best idea.

In my country, accessing HIV treatment is not very difficult. Most public health facilities and some private facilities have them and it is free to all those that need it, meaning nobody is left out of care. The difference between the two would be the range of services offered in each. A private health facility might have better diagnostic and care services than public which have the basic which is just dispensing ARV's and maybe the routine Viral Load test. Both facilities have Comprehensive Care Clinics where all services related to HIV management are offered. This works well because most people are not comfortable walking into the hospital that has no discretion considering the stigma around HIV. The CCC's in themselves are safe spaces.

With the new interventions, Anti-retroviral being available, being of the highest quality, HIV is very manageable, I am a testimony for this. I was born when there was no treatment for HIV, I have lived, been on concoctions but thanks to research coming up with ARV’s and me being faithful to them, I am success story, I have been on treatment for over 15 years and have had my own share of challenges from adherence leading me get opportunistic infections, Tb, Shingles but with the support from the Psychosocial Support Groups I have attended with other young people living with HIV, the forms I have attended have put me back on track and now I’m well into my fourth year having achieved an undetectable viral load . Nonetheless, I am a success story and I believe the many success stories we have should help in advocating for HIV testing and also encourage the newly diagnosed in leading a normal life even with HIV. We are best placed aside from the biomedical side of HIV, educating the public becomes the most important to help in the fight against HIV.

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