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 Wednesday 09 February 2011
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Hear our Voices
A forum for people affected by HIV and AIDS whose voices are often not heard. These personal accounts document the impact of the pandemic, but also serve as testimony to people's strength and determination to meet those challenges. This forum seeks to encourage others to speak openly about the disease, tackling the stigma and denial that have led so many people to a silent and unnecessary death.

PlusNews welcomes editorial and photographic submissions for inclusion on this page, reserving the right to select and edit as appropriate.

  [archive more testimonies »
Elizabeth Matambanadzo, "I was shocked at the HIV-positive result because I had never had sex"
At first Elizabeth Matambanadzo, 18, did not think she was cut out to be part of a group of young people helping to take care of the sick and elderly. Now, months after joining Family Caring Trust (FACT) in Nyanga in Manicaland Province, she says helping others living with HIV has helped her to come to terms with her own HIV-positive status.
full testimony
Thembi, "Even the children, they call a person with AIDS a `rotten potato’"
Thembi (last name withheld) is a 33-year-old HIV-positive mother of three who has lived in rural poverty all her life. She lives alone with her children amid the low green hills of Swaziland's central Manzini region, while her husband is away working in South Africa.
full testimony
Grace*, "I finally found the courage to ask, 'Are you gay’?”'
Grace is an attractive brunette working in Nairobi. Until recently, she was dating Will, a stylish 20-something Kenyan. She told IRIN/PlusNews how the relationship broke down, leaving her with fears about HIV.
full testimony
Princey Mangalika: "My neighbours burned my house because they thought I had HIV"
There are few positive stories of people living with HIV out of Sri Lanka, but Princey Mangalika's is an exception
full testimony
Sihle Motha, "You have this person's life in your hands"
Sihle Motha, a nurse at Malvern Clinic, in Johannesburg, is among the first to have been trained in the management and initiation of patients on antiretroviral (ARV) treatment. She will soon be joined by thousands more as the government rolls out nurse-initiated ARV treatment at primary healthcare clinics across South Africa.
full testimony
Ephraim Banda, “The third-line drugs we don’t have”
Before Zambia’s public health sector started providing free antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to people living with HIV, Ephraim Banda bought his own medication. But his supply was often interrupted and the available drugs changed frequently and he is now one of a growing number of HIV-positive Zambians who have developed resistance to both first- and second-line ARV drug regimens.
full testimony
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