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MEET JOSEPH

Or, as Joseph would phrase it, meet the new Joseph.

Story by Keep a Child Alive August 13th, 2015

Having lost his father at a young age, Joseph learnt that he, too, was HIV positive.

Weak and tired, with little to hope for, Joseph was introduced to WE- ACTx for Hope, in Kigali, Rwanda. There he received treatment and regained his health. It was also at WE-ACTx that he started to believe in a future.

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As part of his treatment at WE-ACTx, supported by Project Air, Joseph was taught yoga. This was a revelation to him.

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“Yoga is a medicine.
I found yoga to be a big medicine.
So special in my life because since I started to do yoga,
illness has been taken out of my life….”

Instead of moving on when he got his health back, Joseph stayed around to help others, intensifying his training and passing on what he has learnt to the next generation of Josephs.

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Now a Peer Educator and yoga instructor at WE-ACTx, one of his duties is to teach yoga to the children there.

“I can‘t help everything, because most of them, they have different problems from their families,
so what I look for is to help them to smile… when I get their smile, I also feel happy and I say, this is my job.
And then I can go back at home with my heart smiling.

Being HIV positive doesn’t mean you have to die.
Now they want to be like me, and it’s possible if you have the hope of living.”

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“So the old Joseph was Joseph who was sick, who had no hope for living in this world.
And before I got involved in WE-ACTx, I was feeling alone. But since I have been at WE-ACTx, I realized that I am not alone.

I have a big community. I need to join that community to help each other to continue to make life…
I have to be with them and then we support each other.”

Joseph's commitment

I’m committed to the end of AIDS.

Footnote: Women’s Equity in Access to Care and Treatment (WE-ACTx) for HOPE in Kigali, Rwanda was founded in 2003 and currently provides approximately 4,500 people with comprehensive HIV care and treatment.
Kigali, Rwanda
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