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01.12.2010 Health

World AIDS day, the stigma and a remarkable story

By Joy News/Ghana
World AIDS day, the stigma and  a remarkable story
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As countries around the globe mark, World AIDS Day, discrimination and stigma against people living with the disease still remains a major barrier to people getting tested and seeking treatment.

A lot of people living with HIV have lost friends, family, jobs and other social connection after testing positive for the virus.

But there are a few who have at least one person to count on.

Kwaku Owusu-Peprah of Radio Maxx in Takoradi met a man who is living the virus and he tells a remarkable story of how his wife is standing by him.

The patient, named only as Asiedu, said apart from antiretroviral drugs, he eats well and that keeps him going.

He said when he discovered he was HIV positive, his "first problem was how to tell my wife, close family [members]. I even wanted to kill myself because with this disease, I really felt I was already dead but when they eventually tested my wife and she was negative, it was a great miracle.”

Asiedu, said his wife, who has remained faithful to him is God's greatest gift to him.

Maame Esi said she spent the first year after her husband was diagnosed with the virus crying and wishing the bad news away.

She said she had known her husband to be faithful, unaware however that when her husband went for a course in Kenya, he decided to be adventurous and contracted the deadly virus.

Maame Esi said when she realised her loving Asiedu must have cheated on her while in Kenya, “I really, really went mad. I got mad, I didn't know where I went wrong for him to do that because it was a short course he went [for], it was not even up to a month – so this period my husband couldn't wait for me. So if I look at it from that [angle] it hurts me so much but now I'm putting that behind me so that I'll be a supporting wife to my husband – I try to love my husband as he is.”

She was candid. “It has stolen our joy from the home. Anytime I see my husband I get so sad. Some of his friends have deserted us, they no longer visit us. Life has been so unbearable.”

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