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No Positive stories in Africa only very negative stories

Unlike the HIV ŒPositive Stories‚ that we read and hear from the developed world our stories here in Tanzania and sub Saharan Africa are HIV „extremely negative stories.‰ You take for example this story of a lady who died a month ago:
She was running a shop up county in Tanzania in a town by the name of Arusha. The town of Arusha in East Africa is well known as it is the seat of the East African Community of the three nations of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Many ladies after they finish primary school and even secondary school these days do not get chance to continue with education and employment in the public sector. They are employed in the informal sector and many as this lady are self employed doing small business like running a small shop. There is a lot of HIV in the informal sector of small business men and ladies.
Whe she got sick and suffered the signs and symptoms of HIV/AIDS she continue to work at her shop but when it became obvious to her that she had HIV/AIDS she had to go somewhere where she was not likely to find somebody who knew her so she sold her shop and came to live with relatives in the city of Dar es Salaam. She was lucky to have relatives here and they looked after her in turns that is she would live with this one for a week and move to the other one for another week or so. When she was too sick she was admitted in hospital. Here hospitals do not keep HIV/AIDS patients for long and there are no hospices so the hospital as is normally done here discharged her fast to go and die at home.

I found her at a drug shop with her sister. They were buying drugs. She sat on the floor breathless while her sister negotiated for the price of the medicine and was trying to explain to the drug store keeper that she had taken that medicine before.

Two weeks later I met the sister of the patient. She told that she had just returned from their home village where she had gone to burry her sister. When she saw that her sister was breathless and knew that she was going to die soon and knowing that it is expensive to transport a dead body upcountry for burial she bundled her into a bus and rushed her home where she arrived alive but died two days afterwards. She was 28 years old.
This is one of the many HIV/AIDS Œnegative stories‚ from Tanzania and the rest of Sub Saharan Africa where there are very few and in fact almost none and in many cases none at all : family, social, religious, medical groups to support PLWAs and where ARVs are not available or if available only the very, very rich can afford them and where when AIDS patient is seen in hospital is told "go home and wait for your death'

Sent via Email 1 March, 2004.

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