My name is Martha, well I'm just here to talk to you all,
let you know that there are families actually, who just neglect
their loved ones who are infected by HIV and just left them
like that to stay in the hospital.
I was living in Africa for 7 1/2 years, and I had Malaria
there and almost died. And after 7 1/2 years, I just came
back here ... I was doing well, was working. I was a divorcee,
worked three jobs to support my three kids without my ex-husband's
maintenance. Then I met Fandi, my husband, actually I didn't
want to marry him but he wanted to marry me even though I
am HIV positive...maybe it's written in Allah's book you see,
and life still goes on.
I'm very lucky, yes very lucky when I was at the hospital,
my Allah up there was with me, because I did passed away twice
... I've been there, I've seen things, the good, the evil,
the ugly things ... And no matter what, he (Allah) gave me
back my life.
That was 11/2 years ago when I was in Changi Hospital, I
had breathing problems and doctors say the virus has reached
my brain already and I was totally out ... too weak. I've
seen the good spirit, I saw the bad spirit, and besides that
I saw even my great grand parents and whoever that love me,
they appeared to me and they just wanted me to go with them
through that white light. And also on that same night he
(Fandi, my husband) was there, he stayed over and he prayed
very hard for me and the next day was amazing, I could lift
myself up and eat properly.
Doctors were saying that they were very surprised that I
could just walk out of Changi Hospital.
All that time I was never on any HIV medication.
The second time I was warded in CDC. For 2 days I was talking
to myself, I was hallucinating, believing I was in another
place, by the beach sometimes or feeding one of my grandchildren.
My family, my husband and children were by my side all this
while. It's the love that keeps me going.
At home, my life is as normal like anyone, I clean the house,
cook and dine with all my children and grandchildren. I go
for walks..... but it all depends on my energy levels.
Being a Singaporean, honestly, I could say 85% of the people
here are all hypocrites. I just thought I'd be straightforward,
you know. In the front they are nice people, but at the back
they will just go and spread rumors, say whatever they want,
they'll just add pepper and salt.
I don't think families should neglect their loved ones who
are infected with HIV. I've seen too many cases like this
when I was warded in the hospital. Just like this patient,
poor guy, his permanent home is the CDC. His family can afford
the hospital bills! I don't see why they can't just bring
the poor man home, to even hire a maid and look after him
if they can't manage.
But I do like to tell people here in Singapore and around
the world that although whatever disease someone in a family
has, never just neglect them because there are a lot of them
being neglected. No matter what, they should always be there
to give that love and support ... when the love is there,
it will encourage the sick to go on ... that's very important,
because without the love that's it.
I am Roslan, I was diagnosed 2 years ago, the first time
when I heard that I was HIV positive I don't feel like living
anymore, I really can't say anything ... got no words to say.
Because first of all I am already paralysed, I can't even
move right. I don't know what I am supposed to do with my
life. I am already bed-ridden.
Doctors told me I can never move (be mobile). I was paralysed
due to a blood clot in my brain.
Straight away I asked the doctor to take my blood test because
I used to share needles with my friends.
For months I had no money to buy the expensive HIV medication,
I got some money after I went to my friends and relatives
asking for help.
Sometimes I take the medication if I have money, I'll buy
some to last me for a few weeks and if not I'll take one dosage
a day. I am suppose to take it 2 times. I am taking the 2-drug
medication and is already a big problem financially for me.
I am on medication for 1 1/2 years already but am not regular,
I stop on and off. Sometimes I stop for 2 weeks, I am not
sure, for every month
When I take the medication I feel so much better, if I don't
take it I am afraid that the virus might react. These days
I am getting better through physiotherapy and medication.
I wish I have the money to buy medication for the rest of
my life until they find a cure. With the medication I take,
I hope to get stronger and to be able to work again to support
What makes me feel like living again is because of my wife
- she is very, very supportive; she is always around when
I need help.
I do face some discrimination from my relatives. At the
beginning, the people at home were afraid of me, afraid to
share the plates, utensils and food. And whatever food was
left they'd throw it away as they were afraid sharing may
infect them. Luckily with the counseling by the CDC home care
nurse, relatives were more understanding and got used to it.
But times are hard for a while, my wife and I had to move
out, and we had no choice but to pitch up a tent and live
by the beach. For meals, we survived on biscuits in the morning,
and evenings we shared a packet of rice between us.
I was very lucky to have met my wife, I just don't believe
with my own eyes, how can I meet a woman like her, who can
accept me, even with a sickness like HIV. It's not I that
am supporting her, but she supports me. Not everybody is as
lucky as me, with this kind of sickness everybody will shun
you, she is somebody who accepts me.
Although with my financial problems, I still feel at least
a little bit better off than the others whose family chased
them out of their home.
Since I've found someone who can support me and accepts me.
I hope my story will be an example that living with HIV is
not a death sentence, life still goes on. It's not the end
of the world, I still can share my life, its not a disease
where you can spread by just casual contact or sharing of
Don't give up hope.