“But my blood is clean! It’s red, not black like my husband’s must be,” the woman blurted out, hours after finding out that she too was HIV positive.
It was heart breaking to hear a myth that had so thoroughly convinced this young mother. She was uneducated and struggled to comprehend our counseling because it radically contradicted the village sayings that she believed to be true.
She was reluctant to listen to me because I’m a foreigner, but she is willing to listen to the Nepali staff that help run the care centre. I’m not upset about this because I hear the knowledge coming out from my co-worker’s—things that I’ve said to them.
Before completing the AIDSLink training, I wasn’t very confident in sharing the information I had heard about HIV. After I finished it, I was more comfortable in speaking into situations where proper education was lacking and where people were at risk.
Those opportunities most often come up in the daily ministry within the care centre or on home visits to people living with HIV.
While I’m happy to share what I know to whomever I encounter, I’m most encouraged to see the women I work with step forward and teach. I enjoy empowering the women I run into, but I love empowering those that I work with because their influence amongst the Nepali women who are most at risk due to lack of education or resources is far greater than mine.