May 24, 2016
Jeremiah Ochieng is a hard-working man. After graduating high school, he began working for Kenya Power and Lighting in order to provide for his wife, whom he married in 1988, as well as their three young children.
At age 39, Jeremiah was diagnosed with HIV after his wife was tested and told she had been infected with the disease. It took some persuasion but, eventually, Jeremiah decided to go in and be tested.
“It was not easy,” he says. “As a man, I don’t take things in very fast. I was in denial.”
And having lost both a brother and sister to HIV didn’t make his choice any easier. Thankfully, Jeremiah has a supportive family who urged him to seek the help he needed.
“I got to know about the [CARE for AIDS] center here because of my sister-in-law,” Jeremiah explains. “I started coming last year after I was taken to the hospital and treated for tuberculosis. She came out to see me every day.”
At the CARE for AIDS center, Jeremiah is not only getting the proper medical treatment, he’s also learning how to live with the disease, so that he can continue to work and provide for his family. In Kenya, employment can often be just as lifesaving as medicine.
“[CARE for AIDS] has taught us certain things so that we can be self-reliant,” Jeremiah says. “And they give me hope because I know I am not alone. I can still live a long life.”