D R . E L R O I


Monday, November 17, 2008

Stigma & Discrimination 1

What really kills people living with HIV and AIDS all over the world is not the opportunistic infections that attack the body when the immune system is already depleted, it's the stigma and discrimination feels and experience by HIV positive people. But before I talked about what is stigma and discrimination in the context of HIV & AIDS, let me tell you my own experience of stigma and discrimination.

I applied for a position related to HIV & AIDS in this Christian non-government organization. The result was negative, though it was not final yet according to my friends there, due to my HIV status! At first I was really hurt because for the very first time, I was discriminated against because of my health condition. I cried for a couple of minutes but I asked the Lord why, then I began to understand that perhaps these people are just concerned about my health coz they are afraid I might not able to do all the responsibilities of the position. Apparently, it is still plain and simple discrimination and it's against the RA8504.

I was amazed by the support and trust given to me by my friends there and sooner than I thought, I felt better and trust the Lord that He has something far better for me. So after a few minutes of that negative feeling, I was truly alright and it did not bother me at all.

The Lord only showed me that not all Christians exude true Christianity or Christ-likeness to themselves. It's like a warning to me that I must be really careful to whom I will reveal and entrust my status at the same time. Honestly, I have nothing against with that organization or to any people from that group. In fact, I will be still willing to help them in their HIV & AIDS project and I will treat them the same way I treated them before that incident happened.

Anyway, it is not a closed book yet I guess and only God knows what will happen next. It really feels good to trust God with all my heart. It feels great to know that the Lord will take care of every aspect of my life especially on the areas like this.

Stigma and discrimination will not kill me and should not kill other people living with HIV. The Lord is my strength and my shield. My heart trusts in Him and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song. That is Psalm 28:7. So if you are living with HIV like me and feel stigma and discrimination, I would encourage you and suggest surrendering yourself to Lord Jesus Christ and everything will be alright coz He will take charge.

Next post, what is really stigma and discrimination?

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