Pooja’s Story: A Tale of Resilience and Empowerment

Pooja a 30-year-old woman, had always been enthusiastic about her studies. Her dream was to join the defence services, inspired by the men in her family. However, life had different plans for her. In her village, girls were married off at a young age, fearing for their safety. Pooja, too, was married at the tender age of fourteen.

Despite the challenges of early marriage and societal expectations, Pooja expressed her desire to continue her studies to her in-laws, who supported her. She was in the first year of her graduation when she received a call that turned her world upside down. Her husband had TB, and she was asked to come for a check-up, only to find out that she and her husband were both HIV positive. This news shattered Pooja, and she gave up her studies, thinking her life was over. But with time and support from her family and doctors, Pooja found the strength to fight back. She started taking antiretroviral therapy (ART), which helped her lead a healthy life with HIV.

Today, Pooja works in the field of HIV/AIDS awareness, empowering and educating people about the disease, especially girls and women. In India, there are over 860,000 women and girls living with HIV, and ending AIDS by 2030 requires addressing their safety, education, and diverse roles by putting them at the center of the response.

Pooja’s story is a testament to resilience and empowerment. Despite facing numerous challenges and setbacks, she found the courage to turn her life around and help others. Pooja believes that at every turn of life, we learn something that helps us grow, and it’s important to embrace these turns and learn from them.

Pooja’s journey highlights the importance of education and awareness, especially for girls and women, in preventing and managing HIV/AIDS. It’s crucial to break down the stigma and discrimination associated with the disease and create an inclusive and supportive environment for people living with HIV.

Pooja’s story is a reminder that life is full of unexpected twists and turns, but with resilience, determination, and support, we can overcome any challenge and create a brighter future for ourselves and others.

“Alliance India helped me access treatment and care and provided me with the support and knowledge I needed to live positively with HIV. They gave me hope when I had lost it, and today, I am grateful for their unwavering support.”

-Pooja Mishra

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