Friday, December 4, 2009

Hope and Courage in dealing with AIDS in Rural Malawi

Authored by Chikondi Madikiza-Madumuse during World AIDS Day in Mulanje

For many people the World AIDS Day brings hope and courage. They realize that the world recognizes the effects of this pandemic. In the recent years discrimination and stigmatization of those with HIV has decreased and AIDS though a dangerous disease, is seen as something that can be managed.
In 2004 the Mapira family (Mr and Mrs) were found HIV positive, it was tough for them because during this time the husband was bed ridden. They visited different traditional herbalist who gave them different concoctions and in some cases were told he had been bewitched. They also spent so much money during this time, trying to get help.But one day a counselor visited the area, he visited this household. He advised the family to go for an HIV test. It was a hard decision for the man but he had to do it because he was very ill. After being found HIV positive the Mapira family decided to declare their HIV status. At first people were backbiting about their status, but later the community realized that the two were living a better life.
Now five years down the line the couple is self-dependant, they are living a healthy and a happy life, they accepted and are managing their condition after taking heed of counsel. The couple says instead of looking at ARVs as a burden, they take them as their every day ‘drink’ in doing so they take them with much ease knowing that they can live a longer life and see their children grow into responsible citizens. They encouraged those who have not yet tested to go for testing and for those who need ARVs not to be afraid to start on treatment.
Celebrating World Aids Day in Mulanje - Southern Malawi

As the world celebrated World AIDS Day this family sets an example for people, to share their experience and assisting others to go for testing and deal with their status.
During the celebrations in Mulanje different denominations came together to declare to the community and district that it takes everybody’s effort in the fight against HIV/AIDS, no one can manage on their own.

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