Paul's Story

For over 10 years, Paul spent his life earning money in Mumbai near the red light district. Over time, he became too ill to work. His friend took him to the doctor and he found that he is HIV positive. Not much information about HIV was given to Paul, but according to the doctor, he could live if he took medicine for his whole life.

He was not strong enough to make the trip home alone, so he asked his friend for help. His friend was not able to help because he just visited home and could not take more time off work. Another friend took him to the bus.

The 3 day bus ride made Paul feel as if he was going to die. After crossing the India-Nepal border, he took a local bus, which was very tough on him, and finally arrived at home where his family was shocked by his poor condition. Paul’s family took him to the hospital, gave him herbal medicine and prayed for him, but Paul did not tell them that he was HIV positive. His fever left him but HIV would not. 

The “friend” who helped Paul get to the bus in India had already informed Paul’s village that he is HIV positive, and told them that he would die soon. He also spread the misconception that the other villagers will catch HIV from Paul just because they live in the same area. 

Paul and his family were totally rejected by the villagers. They were not allowed to draw water from the public well, attend public programmes or walk in the village. 

Paul and his family were in a social prison.

He felt that it was his fault that his family was getting into so much trouble. He decided to die. He attempted suicide 3 times, but each time, worries of how his family would survive without him lingered. 


One day, a local teacher noticed that all the children from the village except Paul’s son came for the free school tuition. The teacher visited him and Paul explained his situation. This teacher did not care about the villager’s thoughts, but suggested that Paul go to church for prayer.

A two hour walk took Paul to church. The service did not affect his life much, but afterwards he told the church leader about his condition. Paul was so encouraged by the church leader and was told he’d be connected with someone who helps those who are HIV positive. Paul was put in touch with AIDSLink Nepal (ALN) and was invited for treatment in Kathmandu.

At ALN, Paul heard testimonies from the staff of how other people with HIV have been helped, and when he visited the hospital, he met some of those people. However, when Paul heard he would need to take Antiretroviral Therapy, he said he would rather die than take the medication.

ALN advised him to wait and meet the support group who all go through similar things. 

While sitting with the support group, Paul shared his story and let people ask him questions. Not only that, but he felt God’s love as the support group prayed and supported him.

He shared with everyone, “I was ready to die 3 times because I felt that I am the only one who has this HIV. Because of my HIV status, my whole family is rejected by society. But now, I will say that I will not die soon.  I will live. I will look after my family and my father.”

Paul felt that he needed to help people with HIV who are in remote villages and don’t know what to do. So he started to give his free time to people who are HIV positive. In this process, he became ill, his employer did not understand his situation. 
Paul left his job and began volunteering with ALN. For 2 years he has encouraged and taken care of 25 families who are infected or affected by HIV, for free. 

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