“I lost my job today, why though? I can’t seem to understand what had actually happened. I was confident I was doing exceptional work guess my boss saw otherwise. I still can’t get an explanation from him but I do know that rumors were circulating about me being HIV+ within my community and persons in my community and I do work the same place, could that be it?
I have never missed a day, never been late, never stolen from him nor spoken rude to any customer so what could it have been?? Damn HIV! I did not even ask for this and now it is ruining my life!! What an inconsiderate jerk I thought, what the hell does HIV has to do with anything??”
That was my friend Sash venting to me just the other day. How ironic is it, losing her job on World AIDS Day, that one day set aside to actually show that we care and support those infected with and affected by HIV. I remember about a month ago she had sent me a Whatsapp message saying people in her community were spreading ‘rumors’ that she was HIV+ and how she gon act up if she loses her job, the only thing I could ask her was if the ‘rumors’ were a lie? Immediately she stopped messaging me.
Looking at the situation now I feel guilty that I had not supported her more but at the same time I wanted to build her to be accepting of her positive status, accepting of the current situation and who she is, to live without fear of words from others.
I am now puzzled with what actually happened with her at work. Being as aware as I am I recognized that what my friend is experiencing is actual financial violence which of course can lead to other issues. I am asking myself how will she now financially support her 3 year old daughter who is also in school? I fear that she will have to enter back into a sexual relationship with the child’s father whom intentionally infected her 4 years ago. He is the type of man that won’t give off unless he getting something in return for his money. Any which way she turns now I see her experiencing financial violence.
I am worried and scared, how many other women out there have lost their jobs due to a positive HIV status? How many of us have to be subjecting ourselves to situations we have no desire to just so we can have some amount of financial ‘stability’? How many of us actually identify this as an act of violence?