Colati Shows There’s Life After HIV
Life became difficult for Joeli Colati when doctors gave him his positive results after testing for the dreaded Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
But, with the support of his family Mr Colati was able to overcome the stigma that is associated with the virus and is now advocating on HIV throughout the country.
“In 2007, I was only 21 when I was informed by the doctors that I have HIV,” Mr Colati said.
“I was admitted at the hospital with some symptoms of HIV like skin rashes, boil and high fever,” he said.
Mr Colati said his life was radically changed and he was also planning to take drastic action.
“At first I thought of ending my life because I thought that was end of the world for me,” Mr Colati said.
“I was ignored by the people in my community but with the love and support from my family, I was able to fight back.”
Mr Colati said he was now a member of the Fiji Network for People Living with HIV and AIDS and advocating on HIV and AIDS.
“I would like to advice people that HIV is not the end of the world,” he said.
“Think positive and always come for health services.”
Mr Colati said people living with HIV and AIDS could continue to live a normal life but needed to change their mind set.
Survival Advocacy Network member Sesenieli Naitala said: “We have to emphasise this to the members of our society about HIV.
“We must inform them the cause of HIV and the prevention of it.
“They should also understand that people living with HIV are part of this society.”
Mr Colati and Ms Naitala were attending the weeklong National Capacity Building Training on the Prevention of HIV/AIDS Programme in Suva yesterday.
Edited by Rusiate Mataika