As we look to God for guidance in these unprecedented times, we thank Him also for the amazing ways that He blesses us through means we can never truly understand. In case you haven’t seen our annual report from last year, here is a story of Anna* and how access to our partner changed her and her family’s life forever. If we need any proof that long-lasting change is capable through our love and commitment to helping one another, Anna is a standing testament that miracles do happen.
After Anna gave birth to their second child, her husband fell sick and went to the hospital for treatment. While in the hospital he discovered he was HIV-positive, but he was too scared to disclose his status to Anna. Not long after, Anna was also diagnosed as HIV-positive, and did not share this news with her spouse. Still neither of them told the other about their diagnosis, so neither sought treatment.
Months later, a community health worker was traveling around doing household information sessions about HIV prevention and care. After hearing what she had to say, Anna’s husband requested that the whole family get tested, revealing that Anna, her husband, and their youngest child all tested positive for the virus. This created an unspoken tension in their household that took a toll on their whole family.
Despite this, Anna attended a training on HIV and WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) which equipped her to finally accept her HIV status. When she told her husband what she had learned about transmission, prevention, treatment, and support they were finally able to have an open conversation about what their diagnoses meant. As a result, they chose to seek treatment and create an open dialogue with their children about the virus, their status, and their new medication. Together they decided they were going to stick with their treatment for the long haul.
In the community, Anna started to mentor her HIV-positive neighbors and, with her husband, set an example for their children of how to take care of themselves and others through adherence to treatment. So, from hiding her status from her own husband to becoming an outspoken advocate for people living with HIV, Anna is just one example of how one person receiving acceptance can blossom to impact their entire community!
There is still much work to be done to make sure that every man, woman, and child has rights that we consider integral to every human being’s life. Even here in the US, we face the need for change in ways that maybe we never really thought about but that have been impacting our neighbors for generations. In the meantime, we ask God to help us see what we really need to make our world better for everyone, for the patience to ascertain the steps needed to truly accomplish this change, and for the clarity to see the blessings he lays upon us along the way.
*name changed to protect privacy