When Meena was 24 years old and pregnant with her 2nd child, she was diagnosed with HIV. Her husband knew that he was HIV positive before they were married but he did not disclose his status to her. She was scared and worried but the local government hospital in Hyderabad told her about Nireeshana ACET.
During her first visit to the clinic, Meena expressed many concerns about her status and how it would affect her child. Nireekshana ACET medical staff encouraged her and advised her about medication which would help prevent the spread of HIV from mother to child. Counsellors offered her support on how to handle the physical and emotional impact of her new diagnosis and her relationship with her husband. Over time she was supported with accessing and managing her antiretroviral medication, regular health check-ups, and further counselling to empower her to maintain good physical and emotional health.
The counselling and encouragement she received gave her the strength to live. Unfortunately, in addition to living with HIV her husband was also diagnosed with leprosy so Meena works hard to support her family and her children’s education. Her children are good students and thankfully are HIV negative. Meena draws her courage and inspiration from them.
Meena decided to give back to the community that supports her by training to become a Nireekshana ACET counsellor. She spends 3 days counselling patients in the clinic and 3 days in the community where she carries out HIV prevention and basic health care education. Her story is an inspiration to many as approximately 80% of married women living with HIV in India have contracted the virus from their husbands. Nireekshana ACET empowers women to know they have hope and a bright future in spite of the difficulties they currently face.
Almost 10 years later, the holistic care Meena receives from Nireekshana ACET has helped her to stand strong and to live. In her words:
"I am able to face life and look forward to caring for my children. Thank you Nireekshana.”