Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"I've seen happiness in the eyes of other HIV-positive people"

Photo by: Zoe Eisenstein

Samira Perreira Fernandes, 22, found out three years ago she was HIV-positive. She believes she contracted HIV from her foreign husband, whom she met and married in Cape Verde. A few months after finding out, she went public about her status on television.

She told IRIN/PlusNews about her experience. "I was worried because of my husband's behaviour. He slept with lots of girls and was trafficking drugs. I knew about HIV and everything indicated that both of us were taking risks. I told my husband I was going to do a test, which I did with the help of a psychologist.

When I got the result, I showed it to him and I was so angry that I wanted to kill him. He fled Cape Verde. First off, I didn't tell anyone, but then people started to get suspicious. People are curious, and when they are in doubt they will do everything they can to find out. There was a lot of discrimination and I moved house lots of times, but the houses where I lived never let me use the kitchen or the bathroom.

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