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Personal story: Karuna

We are all human beings and have equal human rights

Portrait of a young adult woman
Photo credit: ©iStock/stevecoleimages. Photos are used for illustrative purposes. They do not imply health status or behaviour.

"I was co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C through needle sharing, I’m now on methadone and on antiretroviral treatment for my HIV. But in my country, Mauritius, drug users cannot access treatment for hepatitis C. I do live a very healthy life, and I work as a peer educator in a local NGO.

I was the first peer educator in my country. During my first year of work, the organisation and I faced discriminatory remarks because they employed a drug user to work. Even so, we continued working together and up to now there are now more than 30 peers around the island of Mauritius.

Now I also represent women living with HIV for my country and I participate in international and regional conferences.

My message is never give up! We are all human beings and have equal human rights. We need to fight and make people realise that WE ARE ALL EQUAL."

What we say

Karuna has experienced stigma and discrimination because of her experience as a person who uses drugs, but despite this, she has worked hard to ensure that her fellow community are well-informed about HIV, hepatitis C and their rights.

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These personal stories have been submitted to us anonymously by individuals who use our site. Some of the stories have been edited for clarity purposes and names have been changed to protect identities.

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  • Last updated: 14 November 2022
  • Last full review: 01 March 2022
  • Next full review: 01 March 2025
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