What’s it like having HIV/AIDS? A Kenyan-born woman living here in the United States discussed that question with English to Africa reporter Cole Mallard.
Naisiadet Mason is the international coordinator for the Society for Women against AIDS and the current director of international programs for the US-based National Association of People with AIDS. Mrs. Mason was infected by her former husband in Kenya, who later died of AIDS. She explains how she lost her self-esteem and confidence but regained it here in the United States after meeting a man who married her knowing she has HIV.
She says life is dearer to her now and her first priority is raising her children and doing everything she can to live a healthy, productive life. She says in the United States there is a greater acceptance of people with HIV/AIDS and more support for them, and that has helped her live with HIV.
Mrs. Mason discusses the balance between taking the medication, which makes her feel lethargic, and not taking the medication in order to live a more active life. She talks about finding a goal to live for, and appreciating friends and those who support her. She also says she respects all the women in Africa who are HIV-positive, knowing the burden they bear and the courage they must have in order to endure.
English to Africa reporter Cole Mallard interviewed Mrs. Mason in Washington