Mission - Resources - Stories

Living Positively with HIV and AIDS

This is a live story about Neama Adili Eliardo who is a person living with HIV and AIDs (PLAWAS).  Neama is 44 years old and a mother of three (3) children.  She was married to Eliardo Lasn a soldier in the Sudanese Government army, who was working in Morobo town which boarders the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda.  Morobo was a high trading town that gathers people of different moral behaviours from the Sudan and the neighbouring Countries.

When the SPLA overran both Morobo and Yei town in 1992, Neam’s family fled to Juba.  In 1993, Mr.  Eliardo was transferred to Mangala, 34 miles from Juba, where after a short time of their stay there Eliardo fell sick with a lot of complicated diseases and unusual marks on his body.   He died on 22nd November 1995 as an AIDs victim.

Because of the lack of awareness of facts about HIV and AIDs among the soldiers and the entire community, Mrs Neama received a brutal mistreatment.  First she was chased out of her house, her properties were thrown out, she was not allowed even to sleep under somebody’s veranda.  She was isolated and finally she was strongly asked to leave Maugalla immediately by the military authorities.  She was refused a lift to Juba and told not to climb any vehicle doing to Juba.  By then Neama had two children and she was seven months pregnant with her third child.

Neama was able only to take a few bed sheets, few clothes and little dry food for their way to Juba.  Five months later Neama began to experience sickness on and off and general body weakness.  She took courage to go to Juba Teaching Hospital where her blood was taken for screening and the result was HIV positive.  She was then directed to us, in the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, for post test counselling.  This is where Neama received her moral and spiritual counselling that made her feel strong in body as well as spiritually.  She grew in confidence and is able to speak boldly today in front of different groups of people about HIV and AIDS.  She has become an educator as well as counsellor.

When the military authorities realised that Neama was playing a greater role in HIV and AIDS, raising awareness among communities in and around Juba, she was allowed to go to Mangalla to get the death certificate and other necessary documents and to follow up the gratuity of her late husband.  Up to now Neama is 9 years living positively with the virus and the worry about the future of her children remain unsettled since the Church in Sudan is facing a very big financial crisis.  But she said, she still remains strong in faith and in hope, that God will take care of her children when she dies.

Communion in Mission 2006