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My story

Standing up
Growing up, my aunt used to emphasise that marriage for a woman was the ultimate goal and a symbol of dignity. Now after being thrown out of my matrimonial home by my first husband, infected with AIDS and left with two children in my second marriage, I realize that a professional career is a better option in life than marriage.
The day I went for my HIV test still remain etched in my mind. Prior to the decision to go for a test, my husband had been admitted at his work place hospital. He was a mine worker and when news reached me that he was in hospital, I thought it had to do with an accident in the mines. We had not seen each other for close to three months because I was staying at our rural home while he was working at Shurugwi Mine, 200 kilometres away.
He was not a pretty sight when I visited him in the ward. I had never imagined that a person would change from robust and vigorous to a hopeless and miserable, all within three months. There was no one from his family to support him. The doctors advised that we both undergo the HIV test. I could not refuse. My husband’s disposition had shocked me. I underwent a brief counseling session. It was around 1500 hours when I was called for the results. They were positive. I blacked out despite the counseling. I could not face my children, my family, my community and the church. How would I break the news?
Ten years on, I have come to grips with my situation. My husband died eight months after we had taken the test. I now live in a different city with my daughter who is now married. I am a small scale business woman. At the age of 45, I realize that I should have taken better decisions in life. Marriage is good only when you are on equal terms with the husband. All the problems I faced came about because the men had financial control over me and could make individual decisions on family issues. They also decide when to use contraceptives and condoms, exposing women to all the dangers related to sex. I advise girls to concentrate on building something of their own before they get into marriage.

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Comments

Fatima Waziri's picture

Reading your story brought

Reading your story brought tears to my eyes, you have such powerful voice and I hope to continue to use it in a positive way. You are a very strong woman which is admirable. Living in HIV especially in Africa is very challenging and you are a survival. May God continue to protect you and your family.

Peace!
Fatima

svosvediana's picture

Amen

Thank you sister for the support. While it is difficult to live in such difficult circumstances, one has to learn to accept the situation and make efforts to move on.

Sarvina's picture

Thanks so much for sharing

Thanks so much for sharing your powerful story with us! I almost cry when reading it, you are a strong women and I am very proud of you. Hope you will keep things positive as you have already done many good things to your community even you live with HIV.

Love,

Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

svosvediana's picture

Thank you

Thank you sister for the support and encouragement

Regards,

Diana

LauraB's picture

Standing on your own ground

Hello,

Your story touches on a conversation that I just this morning had with my mother. I asked her point blank how it was that she married my father some 50 years ago. They have been divorced for many years. Their marriage always seemed a completely mismatched one that baffled me. Her description of why she married is quite like yours and her place now in the world is much like yours- on her own, strong, and clear-headed.

There is an abundance for young women to learn from women like yourself. I respect your honesty and your coming to terms with difficult circumstances.

Keep writing and sharing your voice on World Pulse. We benefit from your wise choices and path.

Love,

Laura

Dear Laura
It is very difficult to be clearly focused when one is in a relationship. When things get sour and one is out of the bad relationship, it appears as if one has been in a bed dream. You look for the reasons why you have been in that relationship and fail to get a single reason. What is important is to focus on the future than the past.

After my experiences, i have told myself that the past is gone and i should look to the future.

LOVE

Diana

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