“If we had 10 Connie’s in this country, we’d go a very long way in encouraging people to stay on medication and to test” says Dr Phiri. Connie’s story is heart-breaking and inspiring. After losing all three of her children to AIDS she finally got tested when her husband refused to be tested unless she went with him. They were both HIV+ and that’s when the hard choices began - “Should we pay the rent or buy the drugs? Or should we buy food?”
Connie was one of the first people to enroll in a free antiretroviral medicine program and today she supervises 3 clinics where all the educators are HIV+. She helps educate people about prevention, getting tested, access to treatment and adherence to treatment.