I found out about my HIV status in 1998. I went to see a doctor for my skin. The doctor asked me to get tested, and I found out I was infected with HIV. I wanted to throw myself under a car. I don’t know what held me back. The doctor had thrown me out of his office. It was hurtful to me, because he had a lot of people waiting for him, and I sat in front of him crying.

The priest of my church was my good friend. One time after mass, I called him and told him, “I have a big problem. I have HIV in my blood.” And he said to me, “What are you doing inside the church, Wilder? You have this thing and you come and sit among us? Why?” That was a big shock to me.

Now I practice vodou, because I have a home there. I pray to God all the time.

This is a message for all people living with HIV and AIDS: Stigma and discrimination can be found everywhere. Therefore, you need to find strength. Do not let stigmatization crush you.