My name doesn’t matter; what’s important is what I have to say. Over five years ago I was diagnosed with HIV. Before then my life was no different from that of any other housewife.
I consider myself to be a strong woman, but if they tell you that you have a disease about which you know nothing but the name, and then they tell you that you are dying from it at age 40, with small children, the blow is devastating.
My husband is a truck driver. From the very first moment he gave me his full support. He said: “If you are infected, so am I. We’re going to get out of this together, the way we have overcome every other problem.”
Once the initial fears and symptoms were past, I became aware of deficiencies in the available medical services. This “discovery” turned me into an activist, which means something more than distributing condoms. We have to re-educate ourselves in the knowledge of our fundamental rights.
It was at this moment that I realized all the potential I have as a woman. My life is a continuous learning experience. I feel fulfilled.
I did not know that having a camera in my hand would prove lethally orgasmic for me, ha ha. But through photography I discovered new things and saw them from a completely different perspective. In general I don’t like to take pictures of myself because I don’t look good enough, but it was a wonderful experience to see me in these pictures, to try and find the best angle.