Chrissy Phiri, 35 from Solomon Village in Traditional Authority Khosolo was saved by a hairs’ breadth, if not was for her mothers’ intervention totravel from Mzimba to Simulemba in Kasungu to take her to hospital.
Chrissy’s husband, JumasonPhiri,a relatively wellto do tobacco farmer based in Kasungu, never wanted her wife to go for testing after she got seriously ill knowing that the outcome of the results would expose of him too.
“I was being locked inside our house with my six children like dogs, and he could go his way to do what he wants with the money from tobacco sales, leaving me and my children without food.
“When he comes back he would not dare to bring usfood knowing that I could hardly walk or do anything, all he could do was to shake me with his foot, while askinghow am coping up,” said Chrissy in her testimony during candlelight memorial organized by Coalition of Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Khosolo recently.
Chrissy’s escapades, began when their tobacco farming business started to bear fruits. She and her husband were leaving a normal life up to until their sixth children.
However, things changed when they made huge sales and the husband started to disappear from home and come back when the money is finished.
As a wife Chrissy, she could confront her hubby of his behavior but nothing materialized until the time she started falling ill frequently.
With the help of her mother, she was taken back to her home village in Mzimba and was tested HIV positive in 2013 and began taking her medication.
Phiri said when the husband visited her home, she did not mince words telling his husband that she was HIV Positive but the husband brushed it off and went his way back to Kasungu.
She said in just few weeks, her husband got seriously sick but still refused to go to hospital.
Phiri said the husband was forced by some of his relatives to hospital but it was already too late and he passed on the following day in the late 2014.
Today, Chrissy Phiri, testifies the goodness of going for HIV Testing and Counseling saying it is good to know ones status and start medication.
Phiri said since she started taking her drugs, she has never felt sick and she still does her household chores and even farming by herself without any problem.
She strongly thanked Government of Malawi for kindly considering to provide the ART drugs for free saying it has helped save her life.
“I strongly would like to thank the Government for considering to provide the Antiretroviral Therapy ARVs for free because without this I would not have lived,” she said
Phiri said today, she is like an ambassador who always tell people the goodness of HIV test.
She however said she is facing some difficulties to provide basic needs for her six children by herself as she only relies on piece works to find money for food.
District coordinator for Coalition of Women Living with HIV and AIDS (COWLHA) in Mzimba, Rebecca Juba said her organization has met similar challenges where Men refuse to go for HIV testing which mostly results in the death of women.
Juba said men still do not come in the open to declare their status and that is why they take their medication while in offices or in bathrooms for the fear of being discovered.
She further advised men to come out of hibernation and go for testing tostart living a normal life.
District Aids Coordinator at M’mbelwa district Council, Frank Mfune said a lot of men are still living in denial as they do not want to go for HIV testing for fear of the outcome thereby contributing to the spread of HIV which is at 5.09 percent in the district.-ManaFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :