Years ago, Sita’s husband abandoned her for another woman and left her a single mother of two boys and a girl, living in a village outside Kathmandu. She has a small shop and uses the income to keep her little family alive.
This situation is what AIDSLink** Nepal (ALN) staff member Kamal found when he visited the village two years ago. After that first visit, the 35-year-old woman became one of the “People Living with HIV/AIDS” (PLWHA) that AIDSLink Nepal supports.
Kamal informed her about medical treatments that are available for PLWHA, shared about what to do if she gets sick and what she can do to keep the virus under control and how to live a healthy life. Taking medicine was new to her and Kamal helped her to adjust to it, observing her improvement and counselling her during the process.
In her village, only one other family knows about her HIV status. It is the family of a man who is also diagnosed with the virus. His house is in the same village but is situated a lot higher up the mountain and thus hard to reach. Other than that, she lives alone with the secret.
“If they [the neighbours] knew, they would hate her”, Kamal said. Neighbours would not help her, if she needed help.
Travelling to the village from Kathmandu takes about five hours by bus in light traffic, yet over the last two years, Kamal has visited Sita every six months to help her take the journey to Kathmandu for hospital check-ups and times of rest in the ALN Hope & Light Care Centre.
Up until now she had always been too sick to make this journey on her own, and there is no one else to help her. Kamal hopes she will be well enough to make the journey herself one day.
“We don’t want to create a dependency on us [AIDSLink Nepal]”, Kamal explained. He wants her to be able to take the medicine herself and to sustain her small family financially with the income from her shop.
Meeting Sita in her own village has given Kamal opportunities to pray for her and share the Gospel. Through the relationship that has been built with staff at AIDSLink Nepal, Sita has a new hope for the future. She understands that there is a way to live with HIV and that it does not mean that she cannot live a rich and joyful life with her family and friends.
Kamal hopes that one day she will understand that real healing does not come only with medication – but with Jesus Christ.
**OM partners with AIDSLink International to make a difference in the HIV and AIDS pandemic.
Credit: Nora · © 2016 OM International