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 Sunday 08 November 2009
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Christine Auma: "Life is meaningless when you are sick"
October 2008 (PlusNews)

Photo: Charles Akena/IRIN
"Our neighbours in the village say I am going to die because I am HIV-positive"
AMURU, Christine Auma has lived in a camp for internally displaced persons in northern Uganda's Amuru district for more than 20 years. Relative peace has returned to the region over the past two years, and she has watched neighbours and friends move out of the camp into resettlement camps closer to their villages. But her case was different, she told IRIN/PlusNews.

"I learnt that I was HIV-positive last year in February after testing at Amuru health centre. I cannot go back to my village because my parents and elder brothers have told me they do not want me home because I am HIV-positive. My parents left the camp and went back home early this year.

They say I am going to give them burden at home when I fall sick; they say they cannot take care of me and my children because they have no money. Our neighbours in the village say I am going to die because I am HIV-positive.

"My last-born, who is six years old, is also sick; she was born with the virus. She cannot play with other children because our neighbours say she will infect their children with the virus.

"They say that my child is dying and, as result, my child has refused to take drugs. She was taking septrin [an antibiotic] given by the counsellor in Amuru health centre. She says she will not take the drugs because people know she is dying any moment; she cries a lot.

"My husband left me after learning that I was HIV-positive. He said that I have infected him with the virus and made his life short.

"There is no one to help me in the camp, my children are worried. When I die I do not know how they will survive. Life is meaningless when you are sick."



[The above testimony is provided by IRIN, a humanitarian news service, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations.]

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