“Do not lose hope if you have what I have. There are medications. There are people there to help you.”
How would you paint your life, particularly your most difficult experiences? What colors and themes would you choose and why? During a recent art session at Metta Development Foundation’s PWID-friendly drop-in center in Kachin State, we asked participants to share their stories with us. We hope you will listen to their stories, too.
This is my first time painting. I'm worried I can't explain what I’ve painted. My painting is a combination of blue and red. My husband used drugs and died because of HIV-related causes. I was sick and could not get up. So I went to a clinic and had a blood test. Then I was told that I have HIV. That's why I combine blue and red with the feeling of being a widow with five children who is taking Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) medication. I added white because there will be days of happiness when my children grow up, earn money and support my medications. The combination of green and yellow here conveys joy because my friends have not abandoned me.
Do not lose hope if you have what I have. There are medications. There are people there to help you. You don't have to feel ashamed or afraid. My aim is to live long and happily with my children, taking ART medication. I hope for medication that will cure HIV/AIDS.
This interview has been translated and edited. The views and opinions expressed within this interview are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of PEPFAR, USAID, UNAIDS, Community Partners International or Metta Development Foundation.
The UHF project is funded by USAID under PEPFAR through UNAIDS Myanmar and managed by Community Partners International. The UHF Project provides support to Metta Development Foundation’s drop-in centers in Kachin and Shan States. Metta Development Foundation utilizes a harm reduction approach at its centers. Through this approach, Metta Development Foundation focuses on minimizing the risks and harms associated with drug use. Harm reduction services include the Needle and Syringe Exchange Programme (NSEP) for people who inject drugs (PWIDs).