43 Kg

We first met Angel* in Zambia in August of 2012, she told us she had “that thing”. We told her about our upcoming AIDSLink Channels Of Hope (COH) facilitators’ training and began praying with her so she could attend.

The first few days of the seven-day COH training, young Angel was silent. Several people in the course told the group that they were HIV positive and shared how that has affected their life. But Angel kept her secret to herself.

Then, in front of 35 people, Angel shared publicly for the first time in her life, “I am HIV positive.”

From that point on, Angel transformed from meekness to boldness. Her whole countenance changed. For the first time in years, she could be herself.

Angel went back to her home of Zambia and a month after the course updated our AIDSLink team.

She said, “I thank you for supporting me physically and spiritually. Really, you have changed my life. Before coming to the course, my weight used to be 43kg, but now, it has changed to 50kg. For me, it is so wonderful!”

“After the course, I decided to break my silence. I started by sharing my status at my school. My passion now is to share my knowledge of HIV and AIDS in several churches in my city in the Copperbelt Province before I start my HIV and AIDS practical in January.”

“On November 2nd, I had a dream where I received a note with the heading, ‘The fall of Jericho and all destroyed.”

Angel’s walls of self-stigma have fallen down. She is HIV positive. In that, there is no shame.

* name changed

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