Tuesday, February 12, 2013

when positive is negative and denial is powerful

"I don't live in Cite anymore. Now where I live everyone is negative. I don't go out at night."

Okay. We understand that. But, the test we did was positive. The follow up test at the Doctor's office was too.

"No. Pa gen viris sa (don't have that virus) I feel good. I am not sick.  I can eat. People that have the virus cannot eat."

Okay. We understand you don't believe. We want to explain this.

"I don't believe." 
"Maybe from getting my nails done downtown. I do that sometimes." 
"No. I don't think it is true."

You can feel fine and still be HIV positive. It is important to make decisions and to know the truth before your baby is born. 

"My daughter she is not sick - it cannot be true."

Maybe you can go for another test to check and see if this is right. 

"If I have it I want to tell my mother myself. I'll go for another test, but I don't have it.

Let's start with another test at a specialty program on Thursday. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So much of the difficulty is not related to dealing with the actual disease. There are programs that offer the medicine free of charge. The greatest difficulty lies in cultural misconceptions, lack of truth, and fear of condemnation.  Acceptance takes time. We hope that truth and love will prevail.


Heidi Pender said...

Part of my job in Haiti was training pastors, lay leaders in churches and medical professionals in clinics in basic counseling skills. Eventually I worked with a group of ex-pat and Haitian medical professionals to come up with a specific curriculum to train clinic workers and pastors in HIV/AIDS counseling. We worked hard on it for several years and eventually produced a Creole version we all felt relatively good about. I can get a copy of that to you if you would ever find it helpful. But yes. Walking through the diagnosis and acceptance/non-acceptance process with friends/patients diagnosed positive was always gut-wrenching for me. My prayers are with you.

T & T Livesay said...

Heidi -
We would love to have an English and Kreyol version if at all possible. livesayfamily@gmail.com if it is a digital file.

Sarah Rideout said...

Could I get a copy too of the curriculum? Sarah@therideoutfamily.org

Kit Brunson said...

We would like to have a copy of the curriculum, too, if possible. kit@smihaiti.org

lulu said...

"The greatest difficulty lies in cultural misconceptions, lack of truth, and fear of condemnation." yes, powerful. may Love and Truth prevail in your community and ours. thankful for your service and care for these people around you!

Marcia Erickson said...

So sorry. I'm sure this poor woman has suffered so much already and is hoping for a free pass. Haiti doesn't give those out much.

Love you.

John Carroll said...

Another great post.

Britney said...

Heidi if you are sharing the curriculum, we would also be interested in the Creole and English versions. abcharles10@gmail.com