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Susan Embula

My name is Susan Embula and I am the leader of Katwekera PCT, a group for women living with HIV in Kibera Slum.  I work at café here in the slum and have 6 children.  I have been living with HIV for almost 20 years.  When I first found out I had the virus, I did not accept the situation.  I went to three different places to get tested even.  I was under a lot of stress.  I had a lot of fear of other people knowing due to the stigma around HIV.  I experienced paranoia.  I hid my diagnosis for two years. 


Eventually, I joined the support group to in order to be with women in the same situation.  In the group, we talk about issues such as stigma, drug adherence, nutrition, and other things we need to do in order to stay healthy.  The mental health of women living with HIV is a major issue in Kibera.  Women die from the stress of living with HIV – they either refuse to take their HIV meds due to stigma and die of AIDS or sometimes even kill themselves.  There not many mental health resources for women with HIV. 


As a group we do not receive outside funding from the government or overseas.  We sustain ourselves with the little money we make from work.  My hope is that someday that we receive support.  I also hope for the continued health of us in the group.


God helps us and keeps us alive.