SAVING A REJECTED FRIEND

IMPROVING THE LIVES OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV IN IMO STATE
November 21, 2013

From 2005 to 2006, CYDI implemented a project titled Empowering traders and their apprentices (out-of-school youth) to fight HIV&AIDS in the workplace in Owerri Municipal Imo State. Funded by the Imo State Action Committee on AIDS (ImoSACA), the organization trained 60 Traders and apprentices as HIV Peer educators.  Peer Educators subsequently held formal and informal education sessions with their peers within the project site (New Market, Timber market and Building Materials market). Each quarter CYDI held review meetings with the Peer Educators to analyse past activities, plan new ones and also share experience.  At one of the Review Meetings with the Apprentices, a PE, Mr Wisdom, shared the following experience.

“A friend of mine was very sick.  He was coughing, had constant fever and had lost weight.  His family and friends thought he had HIV infection, so they abandoned him. When I heard what was happening, I visited my friend. I was shocked to see his condition.  When I asked him if he was receiving medical attention, he said no.  He told me that he had AIDS and would prefer to die than continue to face the discrimination from family and friends.  I asked him if he had been tested for HIV, he said No.  So I told him that, as Peer Educators, we were told the HIV Test is the only way to confirm if one is infected or not. He was not interested, but eventually I convinced him to accompany me to the hospital. When we arrived, he was tested and diagnosed with whooping cough.  Subsequently, he was treated and recovered.  Two (2) months later, I visited my friend and he was very excited to see me.  As we were discussing he confessed he had planned to commit suicide the night before I took him to the hospital. He thanked me for saving his life. I was speechless!  I am really grateful to CYDI for the training, which enabled me to save my friend”.

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