Body Map Gallery: Judith

Click on Judith's body map to see a larger version.

My name is Judith and I am from southern province between Mwansa and Bemba. I came to Lusaka in 1988 when I got married. In 1990 my husband went on early retirement and we moved to Mwoba. He bought some cattle but in 1993 they all died. In 1994 we came back to Lusaka and in 2001 we moved to Ngombe. I started falling sick in 2002 when our relatives received money but wouldn’t give any to my husband and we were chased from our house. In 2004 I got very sick with meningitis and I was admitted to hospital. My mother and husband helped me. They refused to let the doctor do a lumbar puncture. In Zambia there is a fear of paralysis or death with lumbar punctures and our relatives would rather have family members die naturally.  When my family refused to have the lumbar puncture the doctor became angry and chased me out of the hospital. He told me to go and die somewhere else and threw my papers on the floor. I had to pick them up. He refused to treat me because he knew that I had refused the lumbar puncture.  I then returned to the hospital because I needed medicine so badly but it was expensive. There was only one doctor who offered to treat me with medicine.

On my body map you will see that Home Based Care (HBC) is one of my supports, including Hope. HBC bought the meningitis medicine for me. It was so expensive. CATIE has helped me too.

My power point is found on my knees. I want to fight HIV and stigma because of what I suffered at the hospital. I put the ribbon on my head because of stigma and discrimination.

I have a vision to help orphans and vulnerable children.

“Forward Ever, Backward Never” is my slogan. I will never go back even if I pass through temptations. I will go forward.

I have a scar from when I was bitten by my father’s dog. On my bottom I was scratched by barbed wire when I was ploughing the garden. I was in front of the oxen.

The side effects which I had when I started ARVs were nausea, insomnia, and rashes all over my whole body. Afterwards they went away.

The foods which I sometimes eat are beans, bananas and any local vegetable. Sometimes I go without food because I don’t have any so I must take my medicine without food.

For my chitenge I chose the football symbol. My motto is “Kicking AIDS out”. I am a footballer. That is the motto that we use at our support group.

I decided to go for VCT and started taking ARVs in 2004.  I tested for HIV in 2004 because of my ill health. I was sick on and off. I was also tested for TB and had it so I took TB medication for 8 months. I was cured, but it came back two months later. Then I had to take injections and oral therapy.

I went for VCT at Kalingalinga hospital. They counselled me. They asked if I was ready for the results. I took my results to my relatives and they thought I would die. I then started taking ARVs on November 25, 2004. My weight was 59 and my CD4 count was 80. Now my CD4 is 408 and my weight is 70.

I have started a new life. I know how to live positively. I encourage others to go for VCT so that we can fight stigma and discrimination. I am a champion.