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Page last updated at 13:59 GMT, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 14:59 UK

Lesotho Aids diary: Teacher

The BBC, in conjunction with Medecins Sans Frontieres, has been following the lives of seven people from the community of St Rodrigue, in Lesotho, as they struggle to live with and work through the country's HIV/Aids crisis. This is the final instalment.


Mapaseka Mphaololi | Teacher | Mantsatlala village

Mapaseka Mphaololi, teacher

When I was a teacher I gave the children education on HIV/Aids.

I told them Aids is an incurable disease passed from one to another, from blood to blood.

Before, we didn't like the people who were sick. But now we love them

Long ago there was not this sickness and we only taught about sexually transmitted infections.

From 2000, we started using pamphlets and workshops. We had a book and also pamphlets and pictures showing people that had the sickness.

I once got the sister to come to my class to teach the children about the disease.

There was a man in our village that died, so his sister also came and taught them.

Living proof

The children know more now, but children are children.

The people who themselves have HIV are trying to help us teach them - even really sick people who are now better because of the treatment.

We live with them, we love them and they help me teach.

Mapaseka Mphaololi with her class

The pamphlets are given by the government and the clinic. The government is trying hard to teach people about the sickness.

The materials are helpful because the children don't know how to take care of themselves.

They go home and tell their mothers who don't know about this sickness and this sickness is a killer.

Not many children die of HIV here. Some, but not many. None from my class - only their parents.

One girl from my class, her parents died and I tried to help her get through high school.

In the future, I think people will still die. Some people are afraid to go to check their status.

If they go and check they can be given the medicine. They think if they get tested, they won't be able to live normally. But they can.

teacher

There has been change in attitude recently. We are now trained to help to teach people with HIV, to give support groups and so on.

Before, we didn't like the people who were sick. But now we love them. We give them love because anyone could have the disease.

It's a big change. It's a good change.

My wish is that the sickness doesn't come to my house. I always try to tell my children, "please take care of yourselves."

One of my boys went to South Africa and I said: "Go but take care. Don't bring the sickness back."




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