I am forty-one years old, I have been married for nineteen years, and I have been living with HIV for the past seven. Before being diagnosed I was another woman, the typical housewife who takes care of her husband and children. This has changed, since although I still do the same things, I’m now also a vendor. I sell candy on the street. I also give talks to fellow HIV-positive people.

I was diagnosed in 2001. It was a very bitter moment. My doctor was on vacation and the hospital refused to give me the results. I fought against that. I told them it was my right to know my health condition. If I hadn’t done that, I’m sure I would have died of sheer frustration.

HIV has taught me that life goes on and there’s always a tomorrow. I give thanks for all the good and bad things that have happened to me. I pray for my family and to sell lots of candy. I don’t pray for my health, because I’m not going to relinquish to anyone else the power that is in my own hands.

I know it is my obligation to fight discrimination, against me and against the upcoming generation. This is why I give a face and a heart to AIDS. I want people to see that we are all equal, that we should not be judged or discriminated against, and that everyone should be informed.