Joyce Dzidzor admits her regret for disclosing her HIV status

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Former HIV/AIDS ambassador Joyce Dzidzor Mensah has disclosed that she regrets disclosing her status and taking up the ambassadorial mantle.

“There are many people who are infected and have kept their status secret and living normal lives, as long as they are taking their medication, they don’t have to worry about being stigmatised. People only stigmatise you when they know you have the condition. If they don’t know, you live a much better life,” she said in an interview with Showbiz.

She said although the public has been educated about HIV/AIDS related issues, this has not affected how people living with the condition are treated by others. “We think because of the education that encourages the public to hug persons with the condition, enough has been done. It goes beyond just a hug or a handshake.

“ The real test comes when you have to live in the same house with people like me and eat from the same bowl or share facilities. People pretend to shake hands with me but will not visit me in my home and even when they do, they refuse to eat or drink anything I offer them,” she said.

“Truthfully, the people who received any positive effect from my campaigns are the people with HIV who previously didn’t have any hope. They now know that it is possible to live productive lives regardless of their status because they see others doing the same.

“ I will personally not encourage anyone to disclose their status publicly because nothing has changed. The general public has learned nothing, people continue to refer to me as an AIDS patient although we have explained the difference between HIV and AIDS on numerous occasions, and it doesn’t make sense. People still abandon their infected relatives in hospitals even after all the education that has been done,” she added.

Credit:Livefm

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