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Nov 30, 2012

Healthy Living with HIV in Belize part 2

On Thursday night, we brought the first of a two part series on living with HIV in Belize. It looks into the lives of two very different persons who have faced similar struggles since testing positive. We’re using the aliases of Morton and T to protect their identities as they share their stories to help others.

Click here for Part 1 

 

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

The support that twenty-five year old “Morton” and forty-six year old “T” have received from their family is vastly different. It is easy to believe that the support, or lack of it, manifests itself most in their individual outlook on living with the disease and facing stigma and discrimination.

 

Marleni Cuellar

“When you think bout your future as wah HIV positive person, you envision yourself in a relationship, getting serious? What you si?”

 

“Morton”, 25, Living with HIV

“Well, with me, with myself as wah HIV person, I noh see myself inna having wah relationship I think I wah live myself single, by myself till I dead cause I noh wah have no kids with the sickness and get wah girl and infect the sickness and mek the sickness start to spread more. So I just feel awful that my life done. Suicide, I would ah do it. Stop tek my medication, to be honest. I got it to here.”

 

Marleni Cuellar

“Why?”

 

“Morton”

“I think if I dead so much people di wish I dead.”

 

Marleni Cuellar

“Dat dah why you woulda do it.”

 

“Morton”

“Mhmm, fi mek I come out of dehn way. Fi mek dehn feel free.”

 

“T”, 46, Living with HIV

“The way I see HIV & Aids it’s just like another sickness. You can say whatever you want to say about me; I know who I am and I know where I am. I am at this point that, I’m comfortable with myself. I am not proud that I am HIV positive; nobody would be proud of that, but feeling comfortable with yourself and have the confidence of living with people and with yourself within yourself. There was this one nurse that motivated me to—she told me be myself. It was Nurse Bradley and it was because of her that I am at this point now.”

 

Both “Morton” and “T” are warriors on the front lines of the fight against stigma and discrimination. They are advocates for HIV positive persons who publicly share their stories so people can understand that HIV is more than just a virus.

 

“Morton”

“Sometimes you go out, they chance you and all kinds of stuff just cause you have the virus and I doesn’t think that have any part to play in it. We’re still humans. People weh have HIV and aids, you noh have to fraid fi dehn cause you can’t catch the virus by talking and laughing and sharing stuff. You can’t get it by eating from the same plate or cup.”

 

“T”

“T look forward to life, life. It’s not easy but it’s beautiful and life is what you make of it. life is what you make of because I mean, life is beautiful. Life is hard, but it’s still beautiful. And dat dah weh—I choose life than death, I have my grandchildren, I have my son, I have my whole family and I have goals that I want to go for.  I have my goals and later eena life, I pray to God to give me the strength to carry. God say I come to give you life and to give you life abundantly and I expect that and I want that.”

 

Outside of their advocacy work, Morton is trying to find a job to support himself and T has returned to school with the eventual hope of becoming an HIV Counselor.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Healthy Living with HIV in Belize part 2”

  1. Storm says:

    Morton, I’ll bet somewhere out there is another HIV-positive person who is also feeling isolated by the virus, and needing companionship the same as you. Looking for that person might be the reason for you to carry on.

    Long ago I read a GREAT, inspirational little book called “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Dr. Viktor Frankl. His big theme was, “A man with a WHY can live with almost any HOW.” That concept got him through years of life as a prisoner in a Nazi extermination camp. Check it out.

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