First impression of HIV
This week I visited Wamata HIV clinic. The clinic help people are battling with HIV and provide support. Many of the workers are volunteers who lost friends or family to HIV. The program uses music to unite people and give information about HIV. At first, I was nervous about being around someone with HIV. I understood that I could not contract the disease through hugging, shaking hands, or touching a similar object.
However, I developed a stigma which I distant myself. Just the idea of being around a person with the disease made me nervous. Thoughts were running through my mind about such as what if I shake someone’s hand, and they have an open cut. I thought everyone who contracts the disease would look sick. I knew I would be able to identify HIV patients. There were people in the crowd dancing and singing before the discussion. I was dancing with many of the patients WITHOUT even knowing.
Speaking With Patients
Visiting Wamata was a humbling experience that shows a person cannot judge someone by the outside appearance but only by the content of their character. The more I spoke with the patients, the more I became more open-minded. Ms. Nancy was grateful for the girls in my group because we treated her as an average person. She has been lonely for the past few years. Her family disowned her once she was diagnosed with HIV.
I embraced her with open arms and loved on her, similar to my own family. She expressed that the group’s visit was one of the best days of her life. They are ordinary people who want to be treated equally. If a person were to see the patients in public, they would not the patient has HIV. I enjoyed speaking with patients. They were more welcoming and generous than people without the disease.
People across the world have HIV. Many people are not aware that a person can only transmit HIV through specific ways such as blood, needles, or sexual contact; people still are cautious of HIV patients. Many of the patients family and friends disown the patients because of the fear of getting the disease as well. People with HIV are still HUMANS. I will spread knowledge about the disease so that HIV patients receive equal treatment. #SPREADAWARENESS