A middle aged woman was asking me “Are you Sister Gloria”? Someone had directed her to see me about HIV and AIDS. After the counseling session, we had the HIV test done and she turns out to be HIV positive. Meanwhile, she volunteered to do the test because her husband had the virus and he is already on ‘Anti- Retroviral Drug’ (ARV).
Then she exclaimed, “Does this mean that I am going to die and leave my children behind!!!” “No” I said to her! However, I assured her of one possible option. “Allow yourself to see that there are more to life than this HIV.” Also, her CD4 count was done and the result showed that her CD4 count was low. She had to go on ARV drugs too. Not quite long ago, she returned to the hospital dispirited. In the course of our discussion, I discovered that she was depressed. I tried to find out if she still was taking the ARV drugs as had been prescribed earlier on. Her reply was “Yes”. So, I enquired about her personal regimen? She said “What?” My reply was “Yes, I mean your own survival ‘logo’. Mine is hope and what is yours? What my ‘hope’ regimen means to me is that a day will come when we will have a HIV free generation, no stigmatization attached to those living with HIV/AIDS. A time when no one will hide any longer for having been infected with HIV in his or her blood.” Then, few days later she brought her husband along with her. She looked much brighter now. Immediately she finished introducing her husband she said to me, “Sister, I have discovered my own regimen; It is ‘faith and courage’. I no longer live for my children and husband alone, but I live for all who value life.” At this juncture, I encourage her to always remember this regimen, which she had discovered by herself, and to cling to it especially at her dark moments of life. The woman went home at ease with herself and hoping to go through life henceforth from this perspective.