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Living with HIV: Patricia and Celestine

Rogers, a volunteer community health worker, helped transform the lives of Patricia and Celestine, who are living with HIV in rural Kenya.

 

Patricia: battling HIV stigma in Kenya 

Patricia Awuor, 33, a single mother living with HIV in Kenya

Patricia Awuor, 33, is a teacher and single mother in the remote town of Usenge in Kenya. She lives with her two children: 11-year-old Lamek and 3-year-old Florence.

Patricia first met Rogers, a volunteer health worker, when she became ill. She missed three months of work due to sickness last year but didn't realise that HIV had weakened her immune system - so diseases like malaria are an even bigger threat to her.

'Before meeting Rogers, it was difficult. When I had problems nobody could advise me, nobody could assist. I was worried but I could not go (to test). Rogers told me to test and not to fear it.'

Stigma and prejudice can cost lives

The stigma and prejudice surrounding HIV was a real barrier for Patricia to get tested, especially because she works as a teacher. But Rogers persuaded her to take a test. Patricia tested HIV-positive.

With Rogers' help, Patricia started taking life-prolonging anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs), now has the support of her son and is back at work.

Without Rogers' intervention, Patricia might have died rather than get the information and help she needed.

 

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