THE TALK

“Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the republic of Burundi”, those were the first words I heard stepping onto Burundian soil.

“Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the republic of Burundi”, those were the first words I heard stepping onto Burundian soil.

Gakwerere, a very good friend of mine invited me to come and visit him in his country. I was very happy, but worried at the same time.

I really wanted to come and see Gakwerere and his work place where he was a volunteer. I wanted to see exactly where he worked and what he did.

I enjoyed spending time in Burundi; an amazing and lively country. I made some new friends, learned about their culture and tradition which is not that different from the one back at home.

I met some of Gakwerere’s friends who came to the HIV centre where Gakwerere was working. We visited clinics where Gakwerere was volunteering. Everybody was saying wonderful things about Gakwerere.

I was surprised that there were no bad smells like hospitals usually have. All of his friends were great. Some of them are living with the virus.

They were really nice to me and I felt I knew them for a long time. We talked, laughed and had a lot of fun. And then, as if out of nowhere Gakwerere told me: “I am one of them. I am HIV positive.”

During his studies in UK, he started taking drugs for fun. Then he started increasing doses, changing substances, and started injecting. He shared needles with others. They didn’t know about HIV.

He never told me how he decided to go and get tested for HIV, but the fact that the results came positive changed his life.

He quit his studies and came back home to be with his family and other young people who share the same life story. He wants to spend the rest of his life there.
Today Gakwerere’s health is fragile.

The virus is developed rapidly. Since I came back from Burundi, I cannot stop thinking about him and the time I spent with him there. I wish I could be closer to him.

I know there are people around me who, like Gakwerere, need support. And I will never walk away. Gakwerere showed me that.

THE TALK family and other young people who share the same life story. He wants to spend the rest of his life there.

Today Gakwerere’s health is fragile. The virus is developed rapidly. Since I came back from Burundi, I cannot stop thinking about him and the time I spent with him there. I wish I could be closer to him.

I know there are people around me who, like Gakwerere, need support. And I will never walk away. Gakwerere showed me that.

Ends

 

Have Your SayLeave a comment