Through Positive Eyes

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In my family I play the role of mother and father to everybody. I’m always reaching out to embrace and support others.

I met my partner, who had HIV, in Uttraradit province. He was a hard-working man, gentle to me, and he accepted my two children from a previous relationship. I was a good housewife, taking care of the housework and cooking for him. I got pregnant, and that’s when the doctor told me I was HIV-infected. When we found out, both of us fell into silence.

My partner wouldn’t let me have an abortion. The doctor thought I should, but I kept my baby. My partner told me that whatever happened with the baby, we just had to do our best. Until one night he was murdered at his job as a security guard. Suddenly I had no one. It felt like I had been shipwrecked.

I went back to see my relatives at our provincial home. They saw me with my two children and pregnant with a third, and they said, “Don’t drop your burden on us.” So I took my children, walked away, and got on the bus heading to Bangkok to find work. I drove a motorcycle taxi, taking passengers everywhere, until I had my baby. When my baby was only two months old, I was already working again, as a construction worker. One day, after overhearing me talk with someone on the phone, my landlord asked me, “Is it true that you have HIV?” I had to move out at 3 am that very night. I moved continually from house to house. My children had to attend many schools to complete their studies.

Nothing is better than spending time with my family. Maybe it’s not a lot, but it makes me happy. In my household, my children and grandchildren do not have any problem with my HIV condition. I am satisfied with what I have now. I never have any thought about wanting a bigger house or wanting more rooms. Never.

Now I am 44 years old. I have been HIV-infected for eighteen years. I am a family lady who has raised three children by myself and seven grandchildren. From my outside appearance some might think I’m a tomboy or lesbian, but I’m not anything. I just want to have a healthy life. As long as I have my motorcycle I can do anything for everybody. If I were to give up my motorcycle, I would feel lost. It is my body, my life.

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