Lillian lives in the area of Machame Lutheran Hospital in Machame, Tanzania. When her youngest child became ill and tested positive for HIV, she and her husband and other children also were tested. The husband was negative for HIV. Of her 3 children, the second and third were positive. That became the end of her marriage. The family quickly blamed her for infecting the children and causing all of the problems. She became ill herself and was left in a broken down house with no income, no food, and no way to send her children to school.
First, a visit was made by a CHAT Community Volunteer who had heard of Lillian's condition. Then, the professional Palliative Care team out of the hospital visited. In the days that followed, her life began to change. She was able to start anti-retroviral drugs. Food supplements became available for her and her children. Another Program Partner found funds to rehabilitate her home. The children received support for school.
Lillian is now very active in the community in sharing her story, battling stigma and continuing to live positively and courageously with HIV.*
Without CHAT, Lillian would definitely not be alive today. For additional information, please visit FHSSA's Tanzania page.
Shared by Kristopher Hartwig, MD, CHAT, Palliative Care Program, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania. *FHSSA has received copyright permission to use these stories and photos on this website.