I help people not to give up by telling my story.
– Janeiro Camba
“I help people not to give up by telling my story,” so says Janeiro Camba, a 33-year-old handyman in the Sofala province of Mozambique.
His story is one of sickness and health and the many steps he took to get from one to the other.
In 2017, Janeiro was a motorbike taxi driver, but was losing a lot of weight. He became so weak that he could no longer work and support his wife and four children. On his own initiative, Janeiro decided to get tested for HIV, soon learning that he was infected.
At home, he realized that the medication his wife Marisa Luisa Manuel had been taking since she was pregnant the year before was the same antiretroviral therapy he had been prescribed. Neither of them had realized she was infected with HIV.
Janeiro met Luis Hussene when he was receiving his medication at the clinic. Luis is a facilitator with Sawa Sawa, a comprehensive program led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs’ HC3 project, designed to reduce stigma around HIV and encourage testing and treatment among men in particular. Through Sawa Sawa, Janeiro was able to share some of his anxiety about having to take medication, especially when he travelled for work, and Luis was able to convince him to take the medication every day, no matter where he was.
Now, Janeiro is a community counselor himself and helps people to get tested and adhere to treatment.
“I learned from Sawa Sawa that if I take these medicines every day and all my life, we will be healthy and able to live normally, work and fulfill our dreams,” he said.
“I do not think about giving up.”