My Mother Treated Me Badly When We Found Out I Was HIV Positive, Mother of Twins Shares Her Ordeal

My Mother Treated Me Badly When We Found Out I Was HIV Positive, Mother of Twins Shares Her Ordeal

  • Gloria Asuquo, a mother of twins diagnosed with HIV, has recounted her ordeals battling discrimination from her loved ones
  • She revealed that her biological mother treated her disdainfully when she discovered her HIV status
  • Mrs Asequo revealed that even hospital health workers exhibited the worst form of discrimination

A mother of twins (two years and five months) has narrated her ordeal in the hands of family members, friends, relations and neighbours after discovering her HIV status many years ago.

Gloria Asuquo, diagnosed with HIV when she was 11 years old following a careless blood transfusion in an Abuja hospital, said life became a living hell for her, especially when her mother could not hide her disdain.

Mother, HIV
Gloria Asuquo is married with children who are HIV-negative. Photo Credit: Abuja Street/@the_Lawrence
Source: Twitter

Nigeria HIV stats

Speaking against discrimination against People Living With HIV/AIDS at a workshop organized by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and APIN for social media influencers, journalists and bloggers on HIV/AIDS, Asuquo said PLWH can live a normal live, love and be loved by all.

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Nigeria ranks third among countries with the highest burden of Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus (HIV) infection globally.

The 2019 Nigeria National HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey found that 1.9 million people live with HIV and AIDS in Nigeria as of 2018.

Asuquo left her family home in Abuja to fend for herself in faraway Nsukka, Enugu state, following the treatment she received from home.

Although her father was very supportive and cared adequately for her when she was diagnosed, she lamented that her mother’s action towards her was not encouraging.

She said:

“When my father broke the new to me (that my daughter you are HIV positive), sleep disappeared from my eyes, I would sit from morning to morning thinking about my life.

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“It came to a stage where I couldn’t cope again in my house when my mother became a thorn in my flesh. I had my own separate room, I had my own separate cup, spoon. At home, they will pass food for me from under the door, I will pick, eat and throw it back for them under the door.
“I had no choice but to find my way out of the house of good. But before then, my mother will always tell people, “you see that girl wey dey go there, she don die finish”. Those were her words, so hurting.
“Even in church, everyone will be giving me space, nobody wanted to talk to me or relate with me.” Asuquo added.
“At a point, a reverend even advised to my father that they should take me to somewhere (where I can be isolated from my siblings) so I could be left to die there and not infect my other five siblings”, Asuquo narrated that her father objected to such.

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Mother of twin recounts battle with discrimination from health workers

Asuquo is married to a discordant partner (someone who is HIV-negative), and their two children are also living free of the disease.

Decrying some of the discrimination faced by PLWHA, Asuquo told that while many still have mixed feelings or terrible attitudes towards people living with the disease, the worst form of discrimination comes from health workers.

She said:

“Health workers are not left out, in fact theirs is worse and most painful because as someone living with HIV, you believe that you can find solace in these people (health workers), they are the one who have taken oath to care for you but they more or less seem to betray the people.”

Asuquo also encouraged Nigerians to ensure they get tested and those diagnosed with the disease adhere to their treatment plan.

Calls for awareness on prevention of HIV

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Speaking at the event, the Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Aliyu Gambo, urged participants to help the agency create awareness of the need to prevent HIV/AIDS, testing, treatment and accessing care and drug services.

Aliyu said when all hands are on deck in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, there is hope for adequate coverage and meeting the United Nations target of ending AIDS by 2030.

According to Aliyu, while there is currently no cure for HIV, the disease no longer kills People Living with HIV as it can be managed effectively.

His words:

“People have been living with this virus; some for the last 30 years and some more than 30 years. However, we want people to understand that fighting HIV begins with them.
“We have had the opportunity to engage different population groups. One population group that has been hard to find and very difficult are the adolescent and young persons."

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Calls for media intervention

Speaking on combating misinformation and disinformation, popularly known as fake news, Aliyu said NACA is assured that journalists, social media influencers, bloggers and all those in the media industry can help the agency connect young people and help them understand the difference between factual and fake news.

In her address, NACA’s Deputy Director, Public Relations and Protocol Division, Toyin Aderibigbe, said using social media is essential in combating fake news regarding contracting the disease, testing and treatment.

Aderibigbe said NACA is confident that the workshop will achieve its purpose and that participants will create content reflecting the objectives.

She added:

“It is pertinent for us at this juncture to acknowledge the World Health Organization (WHO) and (APIN) for their tremendous support at making this Workshop a possibility.”
“Our aim for organising this Workshop is to solicit your support in achieving this mission by being our advocates on social media and traditional media platforms in ending AIDS by the year 2030. We believe this is doable.

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“We are confident that this workshop shall be very interactive and achieve its purpose,” she noted.

Kano mass wedding: Surprise as intending couples test positive for HIV, pregnancy, others

In another report, some intending couples have tested positive for HIV, pregnancy and other sicknesses during pre-marital test screening.

The intending couples had to undergo the screening before partaking in the state-sponsored mass wedding in Kano.

The spokesperson of Hisbah Board, Lawan Fagge, said they had been replaced, subjected to counselling and given medications.


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