A 30-year-old HIV/AIDS patient, Patrick Adjei says employers are denying him employment because of his status.
According to him, he is always fired from his job when employers find out about his status.
He said he only came to realize it when he turned13 after a nurse convinced him to test for it during a screening event.
“My mum did not know she had the disease but I was lucky to have known my status when I had gone to a bank where some nurses were screening the public. But I kept it to myself until I fell sick and was taken to the hospital,” he said.
Adjei said his mother died of the disease, which later killed his father.
The young man who says he has been on antiretroviral drugs for seventeen years said he has become an advocate on the need to eschew stigmatization of patients but that has not helped his personal development.
He complained bitterly about his inability to secure a job. This he said has become necessary for him to learn a trade but he has no support.
“Because of the advocacy I do, nobody wants to work with me. I tried many job places but when my bosses saw my videos, they sack me. I have decided not to look for jobs but to learn a trade and do my own business,” he said while he appealed for support.
Adjei urged other patients who fear coming out due to stigmatization, to as a matter of necessity to disclose their status to be helped.
“I want to entreat other patients who are hiding to come out for the antiretroviral drug so that they can live long. The disease is no longer fearful,” he implored.
The antiretroviral drug helps lower a patient’s viral load, fight infections, and improve your quality of life. It can also lower the chances of transmitting HIV only if it is taken correctly. The drug is not a cure for the disease.
By Rudolph Nandi