It is impossible to hide how proud I am of the ever-so-brave members of the Education Fights AIDS youth associations. This story is about Djingui a member of our AJEPS association and the one who really kicked off the Circle of Love project in Cameroon.
Djingui, one of the EFA Peer Educators, approached me and said that the night before, he was out in town and hopped on a moto to go home. Somehow he and the moto driver struck up a conversation about HIV. The driver told Djingui that he was concerned about his sister who was bed-ridden at home. He described the fairly typical AIDS-symptoms—supreme fatigue, weight-loss, and the list continues—to Djingui. Djingui convinced him to take his sister to get tested for HIV the next day.
Sure enough, the test came back positive. But, then, the moto driver realized to take action to get his sister healthy again, which they believed WAS possible because of Djingui’s testimonials about his own HIV+ status, he needed more money than he had available—moto drivers can usually expect to make $2-3 a day in Maroua.
Djingui brought the moto driver and his sister to us at EFA . . . and through the Circle of Love, she got a CD4 test (a test used to measure the strength of the immune system), chest x-rays (she has suspected TB, too), and we paid for her stay at the hospital.
I find this little story remarkable on so many levels . . .
Djingui’s bravery to disclose his own status is remarkable. His commitment to these strangers is remarkable.
The moto driver’s dedication to his sister is remarkable, when so many families here reject their kids/sisters/brothers upon learning that they are HIV+.
The sister is remarkable for not losing hope as this all got figured out (the health care system is not as transparent as it ought to be!).
And our Circle of Love donors are remarkable! You have literally saved lives. Thank you for your support.
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