Selvi (not her real name) was living a normal life until she was diagnosed with HIV in 2017. She was then 38 weeks pregnant with her third child. The 35-year-old housewife had been infected by her husband who subsequently committed suicide due to guilt and depression.
She had married at a very young age and had greatly depended on the husband as the sole breadwinner. When she was told by doctors that she is HIV positive, Selvi had no idea what they were talking about. Worse, she didn’t even know how she had got infected by it.
Being uneducated and illiterate, the widow is left to fend for herself and her three young sons, aged five, three and the youngest at 11 months old. She found a job as a shop assistant earning only RM600 per month which is barely enough to make ends meet. Life is a struggle and they have to depend on aid from a local NGO in Penang in order to survive.
Fortunately for Selvi, two of her younger children were accepted as recipients of the Paediatric AIDS Fund where they each receive a monthly allowance RM100. This may not be much but the allowance helps to alleviate the family’s financial burden and it means a lot to the widow and her orphaned children. Perhaps their lives will change for the better and she will get to see her sons grow to be successful adults in the future. But for now, life is a struggle.
We want to reach out to more children to be on this Paediatric AIDS Fund and you can do your part by donating to the scheme. Every little rinngit counts.