Saturday, 21 October 2017

Fighting Stigma In Buterere

Thursday was my final meeting with women and men living with HIV in Buterere.
The objective was to empower ourselves as we face day by day the Stigma.

During the introduction everybody did share the story of how he or she did get HIV.I have to be honest their stories were very inspirering.Many men were with their wives so they would share  stories from the beginning of diagnose .
In Buterere site they have peer counselor "Abaremeshakiyago"
They help others to get to hospital for HIV test when they suspect that you are very sick.They counsel as well the new diagnose HIV positive Batwa.

These people were not aware of U=U  Undetectable =Untransmittable and their doctor never gave them the information.
They were relieved .One woman said that she has been carrying the fear for so long.
They both take medication from different places.The most location was Nouvelle Esperance of Buyenzi.
They like the idea of meeting once for while as a support group so then the new infected people who started medication could join and hear their experiences.

We talked about STIGMA in their community .One man told us how children used to stone him the time he had Aids.
But now since his medication did help he has changed. Other woman said that they used to point fingers to her "Look she has Sida (Aids)but at some point the Chief of Village did give order of whoever will do that again ,will be seriousely punished.

Most of them have old children , they told them very long time.Some of their kids help the mothers to remind  to take medication. It's a small step they have made by coming out from their children.
All 24 people went home happy to start such a support group and be updated on  information  U=U
I finished by ASSEJEBA (Association pour la Jeunesse Batwa)where I was honored ny receiving a Volunter Certificate for the work I have done for Batwa Community.
Together we are strong!

1 comment:

  1. You are doing a great Job, Elaine! Following your blog eagerly, don't want to miss one. I have also copied your experiences to my contact in Uganda, the voluntary peer I told you about, who is thrilled by your initiative, and uses some of your stories at his information sessions on HIV in villages and at schools. We all learn from each other, my dear.