I was married at 20 and within two years my husband had died from Aids. He was a lorry driver, and although he knew he was HIV+ he didn’t reveal it until we had been married for 18 months, when he became very ill. After he died, I went to the hospital and found that I too was HIV+. I have one son, who is 3 years old now, he is HIV negative.
When I found out that I was HIV+ I was terrified, I felt suicidal. But who would look after my son? A local doctor gave me expensive indigenous medicines and told me I was going to die very soon. This doctor also told me about Theni district network of positive people (TDNP+). I contacted them and they came to visit me in my home. They talked to me a lot and educated me about this disease. They told me that I wasn’t going to die, but that I could live with it for a long time.
I didn’t have any money as my husband had died and I had spent a lot on medicines. TDNP+ have given me a loan for 8000 rupees. With that money I have bought a cow, I sell the milk for extra income, as well as working in the fields.
These days I have more confidence, I want to live for my son and make sure he is educated. There are 15 people in my village living with HIV. I give them counselling, support and information about HIV and motivate them to become active members of TDNP+.