There was a funeral yesterday for a man who died of AIDS. His wife is also very sick and they have several small children, at least one of which was born with the virus. I don’t think she’s getting regular treatment, so unless she does, she will die soon too and leave the children. ARV treatment makes such a big difference in terms of people living, but not everybody knows about it or is able to access it. It’s really sad to see young parents dying and leaving their children behind when you know that if they had the right medicine, they wouldn’t be cured but they could go on for a while working and caring for their children. There was a funeral for another young girl maybe 2 weeks ago.
I have seen a big difference, though, in how people deal with HIV/AIDS. People acknowledge when people die of AIDS. Many people are also willing to admit that they are HIV positive and there are support groups for people with HIV and for people who have tested negative so that they can live well and stay negative. I went to a funeral for a teacher the last time I was here, who I thought had probably died of AIDS. The first week I was here this time, my host mom said something about that teacher who died of AIDS whose funeral I went to. They told me that her husband had also died. We were talking about the changes a bit last night as we were talking about the funeral yesterday and they told me that when that teacher had died, the husband wanted to marry again, so he told everyone that she had died of something else. So he married again, has died and his second wife is very sick now.