Kimberly Vrudny

Archive for the ‘Scalabrini Center’ Category

Participant 07

In 30/30 Participants, Scalabrini Center, South Africa on August 12, 2010 at 6:45 am

“Participant 07” is a refugee from the DRC. She addresses in her journal issues of promiscuity, fidelity, grief, and care of orphans, advising men to be faithful to their wives.

I am a 56 year old widow. I tested HIV positive in 2005. My CD4 count was 134. [At t]hat time I had TB. I did not know that I had the virus before because I was fit and healthy. I know I contracted the virus from my late husband who was a drunkard and very promisc[u]ous. I was a very faithful wife and to this day I never slept with any other man. I would like to urge men out in the world to be faithful [and] to stick to one partner. At the present moment I am looking after three grandchildren orphaned due to AIDS. My daughter married a man who was also promisc[u]ous and she contracted the virus and they both died at an early age. The husband was 33 years old and the wife was 26 years old. People should be educated about these things. They should be made aware.

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Participant 08

In 30/30 Participants, Scalabrini Center, South Africa on August 12, 2010 at 6:30 am

“Participant 08” shares how, even though she has lost trust in her promiscuous husband, she has learned to live positively with HIV. They are estranged but not yet divorced.

I discovered I was HIV positive six years ago. I was numb with shock and disbelief. “WHY. . . . HOW. . . . COULD THIS BE HAPPENING TO ME.” After the shock and disbelief I started wondering if my two sons were also HIV positive. I got flash backs of the times they ha[d] been ill and tried to figure out if perhaps they were HIV negative. Routine tests proved that they are negative. “GLORY TO GOD.” The love and trust I had for my husband vanished overnight. His denial left a bitter taste in my mouth. We are estranged. He does not want a divorce yet. He refused to use protection during sex. I made a choice five years ago to move out with my children. . . . I got a job. . . . [Now I] lead a healthy and fulfilling life. . . . and have been on ARVs for five years now. I have forgiven my husband but I can never get back together with him as the love and trust is gone.

Participant 09

In 30/30 Participants, Scalabrini Center, South Africa on August 12, 2010 at 6:15 am

“Participant 09” migrated to Cape Town as a refugee from Zimbabwe half a decade ago, after losing three of his children to HIV/AIDS. He believes stigma destroyed their lives.

Way back I could not believe that the story of HIV/AIDS was real because I had not seen anyone who was a victim of it. I came to know this when I got married and lost my loving kids, one after another, [within] 3 months. I believe it was of stigma—that’s why my first two kids just died and we could not get tested for this HIV/AIDS. I came to know of this problem when my third kid was ill and tried to save her life but she died. The doctors told us that she was HIV positive, so we got tested and the truth of HIV/AIDS was real. [T]hen I got tested and accepted the results and came to understand what it means to live with HIV/AIDS. This came about after going for counselling. Now I understand what it means to be with the HIV/AIDS and [to] be able to live positively. To all people who cannot believe if they should be tested and [find] their status—it is just good to know and live positively and that [it is] not the end of life. It has not been my wish to [lose] my three kids but because of stigma HIV/AIDS took advantage and destroyed their lives. My life still goes well though [I am a] refugee.