HIV mustn’t be an obstacle to family happiness

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Outreach workers from the NGO Marifat managed to reunite a couple and convince them to undergo antiretroviral therapy. Firuza and Olim realized that HIV is not a death sentence, and they can build a happy family life together.

“Can a virus cause divorce? No, it can’t. On the contrary, it is in these moments we need to support each other, to be together, no matter what. HIV can’t be an obstacle to marital happiness."

After being screened for HIV,Firuza and Olim learned that they were both HIV positive. Despite the post-test counseling,they began to blame each other for being infected and, unable to bear the mental strain, the couple divorced.

"When my husband told me that he no longer wants to live with me and is going to divorce, and not having been born into the world my long-awaited child died, I thought my life was over," says Firuza, a resident of the Hurosondistrict.

Firuza shared her pain with Latofat, an outreach worker from the NGO “Marifat”, which actively raises awareness on HIV prevention in their area. "Frankly, in these situations, you don’t know what’s right. On the one hand, the family breaks up; on the other hand, it is their personal life. But indifference and inaction are against my principles. I decided to help my neighbors and tried to merge the pair. Every day I spoke with Firuza and Olim. At first it irritated Olim, but I went to him again and again," says Latofat.

"At first I argued with Latofat, and did not want to talk to anyone about my problem. But after a while I thought what I'd do if I found out that my wife had a severe form of cancer. Would I abandon my wife? No, never. I would live with her and support her to the end. And what would she do? She also wouldn’t leave me. What's the point then? Because HIV is also a disease, and those receiving antiretroviral therapy can extend their life. Can a virus cause divorce? No, it can’t. On the contrary, it is in these moments we need to support each other, to be together, no matter what. HIV can’t be an obstacle to marital happiness."

NGO outreach workers from “Marifat” managed to reunite the couple and convince them to take antiretroviral therapy. Firuza and Olim realized that HIV is not a death sentence, and they can build a happy family life together.