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The light at the end of the tunnel?

Hey, I am a 23 year old lady and my older sister is HIV positive. She found out sometime in 2005 and I was the first person she told. My sister and I, we are pretty close, and as expected, she really took it hard. Obviously we decided to keep it to our selves for a while till it was the right time to tell our parents and our other siblings. After a couple of weeks in of leaving in this dark world, my sister managed to drag herself out and start taking the whole thing really positively. She was not sick,she wasn't on any ARV's and as far as the doctors were concerned..she was in perfect shape. So my sister was back to her normal self. Of course this was good news. Apart from myself and some of her close friends nobody else knew of her condition. But it wasn't long before she realized something was wrong. Out of nowhere her friends stopped calling, others didn't pick up her calls, and others just dissapeared. It took her a while, but she soon found out what the cause was, one of her friends who knew of her condition had made it her duty to tell everyone my sister knew of her condition. My sister just about went back into that dark hole, and it took a lot of courage and determination for her to pull herself together again and not hide in misery. At this point we shared a lot of mails, we were away from each other, and everytime I tried to encourage her, and between us we manged to make it all better. I told her anyone who ran away from her just coz she is positive ain't a friend anyway,and why the hell would you want people like that for friends? With time, and a positive attitude, she got more open about her status. She would tell people she met she was posiive and beat her friend at her own game. If they stuck around, well and good, if they didn't well and good! I was pretty proud of my sister. I still am, she had taken everything so well that I knew if it were me I couldn't have taken it that way either.

 

In December 2006, after all these positive attitude times, my sister's employer found out she was positive....and was terminated from work. It was not just sad ,it was just the fact that it put her back to square one that hurt me most. She lost just about all positive attitude she had. It was at this point that she broke the news to my parents...she needed all the support necessary. She was going down,and though she didn't admit it to anyone, she was losing hope.

 

It was at this point that I moved in with her. For the next three months she went to numerous interviews but got no calls. We had just about finished the last money on our savings when she was lucky enough to get a volunteer job as a cashier. It hurt her..it still does. With her university degree, and having been earning four times what she is now earning, she couldn't belive it. But we needed the money...we moved to a smaller place, and have been managing okay.

 

They say there is light at the end of the tunnel...but I think my sister has lost hope in that. She sees herself in this dark place that she is now stuck in...she can't even afford to pay her son's school fees anymore, transferring the burden to my parents who have taken the son under their wing. Every day,we share smiles and stories and good laughs. Once in a while we talk of the real issues that are really in our heads.....are things ever going to change?...We don't know, we would like to hope....I would like to hope, for her sake. But for how long! She needs me, I know, and now more than ever...I'm not going to let her go!

 

Sent via Email July 29, 2007 from Kenya.

 
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