“My sister told me to go back to village to wait for my death”

My name is *Samuel E. I am from Ondo State in Nigeria. I am 35 years old. I went into a relationship with a man some years back and we had a son. A Few months later the child and I became sick, and my son died.

I later learned the man I was seeing was already married so I had to leave him.  I moved in with my relatives. One day I had an attack, and I became mentally unstable-, and became normal some days later.

Some years later, I joined another church and I was able to meet the coordinator of the RCG Foundation, who was my church member. Around that time, I was diagnosed with HIV positive. I was devastated and my sister told me to go back to the village to wait for my death. I could not tell anyone because it was a dreadful sickness in my community that time, and people would not want to open up because of the stigma attached to the sickness.

To my surprise, during a prayer session I had with the  coordinator, God ministered to her concerning my sickness and I had to confirm it and opened up to her. This turned to a new era in my life, she took up the case, went to hospital with me and along the way I was also diagnosed positive to tuberculosis. The Foundation was responsible for all the expenses incurred throughout, though the drugs were given to us free in the hospital.

After several appointments with doctor, I was first placed on 6 months treatment for tuberculosis, thereafter I have been taking drugs to suppress the effect of HIV. Though, I still intensify prayer for permanent divine healing, but my hope has been restored. Having the feeling and understanding that some people somewhere care about me has given me a new thought of life. I do not see life as a lonely place again, I see it as beautiful.  My approach to life has changed, my energy has been restored, I am gainfully employed and I am doing well and I am no more hostile towards people but having good relationship with them.

*Full name withheld to protect privacy of author.

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