The Global Fund - helping HIV-affected people
Boigigul's husband stopped using injectable drugs so he could marry her but their happiness was short-lived. He fell ill, they went to get tested for HIV together, and he died of tuberculosis a few days later. Widowed, HIV positive and with severe depression, Boigigul did all she could not to transmit the virus to her daughter, Shakrona, who had just been born. She was advised not to breastfeed, as it can increase the risk of transmission, but she couldn't afford the luxury of buying powdered milk.
A friend advised her to go to Guli Surkh, a community group which helps HIV-affected people. At first, Shakrona was given infant formula milk for free. Now she has porridge made with food aid provided by the organization.
At Guli Surkh, Boigigul found a different type of help on offer: "Before coming to this centre I was very upset thinking about things and tried several times to kill myself,” she reflects. “But when I came here I found I am not alone. There are a lot of people to support me. It’s what helped me overcome my depression.”
Guli Surkh, which means "red flower", uses financing from the Global Fund to help around 30 HIV-positive pregnant woman receive the treatment necessary to prevent the virus being transmitted to their child. Everything possible is done to guarantee that HIV-positive people, especially young mums, don't feel alone.
©The Global Fund/John Rae
For more information, visit www.bornhivfree.org
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