Supporting people living with HIV in Honduras

3 December 2021

Distributing a food package

Our Church partner supports people living with HIV in north-western Honduras, distributing 'solidarity bags' that include food and hygiene items.

CAFOD stands in solidarity with people affected by HIV and AIDS around the world. We continue to demand action from governments to provide support and end the stigma and discrimination faced by those affected.

Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, with the largest concentration of HIV and AIDS in Central America. Our Church partner works with people living with HIV and AIDS, and their families, to provide holistic and effective medical, psychological and social care. They also provide education for parish communities and the public. 

This support has been key to ensuring that people living with HIV and AIDS and their families are not left stranded when they need help the most – especially during the Covid-19 pandemic and the Eta and Iota hurricanes last year.

Maryuri’s story 

Maryuri, 20, is a mother to a 4-year-old little boy. Although she has been living with HIV all her life, it wasn’t until recently that she discovered her positive status. 

When she was a little girl, her mother gave her medicine every day and told her it was for her heart – but when Maryuri was 13 years old, her mother died. 

“It was very hard for me. I was left alone as my mother was a single parent. I didn't know what to do. I never met my dad. My aunt took me to her house. I didn't finish primary school.”

“They took me to the hospital where they tested me for HIV and I came out positive. Faced with this result I didn't know what to do. I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me.”

Maryuri, 20, who is living with HIV

At her aunt’s house, Maryuri was always treated differently. Her aunt kept her glass, plate, spoon and cutlery apart from everyone else’s. Maryuri never knew why. She stopped taking the medicine her mother used to give her and started to get sick all the time. 

“Then at the age of 16, I met a young man and I fell in love. We started to live together and I got pregnant.”

However, when the young man realised Maryuri was pregnant, he left.

Three years later, Maryuri moved and when she became sick again, she sought help from our Church partner. 

“They took me to the hospital where they tested me for HIV and I came out positive. Faced with this result I didn't know what to do. I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me.” 

Following the result, Maryuri received psychological support and home visits. She explained, “They gave me medication and food for me and my child, who thank God was negative.”

“The psychologist has helped me a lot and today I feel better. I want to fight on for my son and I want him to go to school.”

Maryuri

Moving forward 

Now, Maryuri is moving forward with her life. Although she has struggled to find work due to the pandemic, she is now helping to make tortillas “for a lady who has been very good to me and my son”. 

As the lockdown starts to ease in Honduras, many of the women living with HIV who are members of the self-help group are looking forward to meeting again to provide each other with peer-to-peer support.

Maryuri continues to receive ongoing support from our partners: “The psychologist has helped me a lot and today I feel better. I want to fight on for my son and I want him to go to school.”

Find out how you can help vulnerable women like Maryuri

Wednesday 1 December was World AIDS Day

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