RISING UP AND LIVING WITH HIV

Puan Khadijah (not her real name), 43, is the mother of three children – two sons aged 14 and eight, and a nine-year-old daughter. She was diagnosed with HIV 10 years ago when she went for medical check-up during her third pregnancy. She then started her antiretroviral (ARV) treatment at Klinik Kesihatan Teluk Panglima Garang in Klang.


While her sons are infected with the virus, she counts her blessings that her daughter is HIV negative and is doing well in her studies.


Puan Khadijah and her husband used to sell nasi lemak in their neighbourhood but she faced many challenges after her husband, who is also HIV positive, became paralysed due to a stroke four years ago. He also suffers from kidney failure and heart problem.


As a result, she had to stop working to care for her husband and depends solely on financial aid in the form of zakat at RM300 every month. However, this is not enough to support her whole family.


Fortunately, the Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF) is able to provide her son and daughter with assistance through the Paediatric AIDS Fund (PAF) where they get RM200 monthly allowance to cater to their basic needs.


The PAF programme, run by the Foundation, is funded by Berjaya Corporation Group which provides financial aid to children who are living with or affected by HIV.


“The programme really helps to reduce our financial burden which we had to face since my husband fell ill,” she said.


Puan Khadijah lives in Teluk Panglima Garang and depends on her younger brother for accommodation. Her husband lives with her mother-in-law in Sungai Helang and they keep in touch through video calls and she visits him once a week.


Despite the hardships that she went through in life, she is really grateful for the support that she is getting from the PAF. She takes comfort in knowing that her children will not go hungry and she is able to buy school books which are important for their education.