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July 2, 2010

Isabel Masangwingwi

By Cynara Vetch

Isabel Masangwingwi is 35 and sells seeds in a shop in Seke, she isn’t married but has a steady boyfriend “I love him very much” she told me “but I don’t trust him, no man’s perfect. Who can you trust but God?”.

Isabel recently went for an STI test “I began to think he was moving around and seeing other girls so I went to the health centre. I had an STI and I was very scared I thought, what will come next?” She now wears condoms and had to persuade her man to use them “He said that maybe now he’d find someone else if that’s what I wanted. I said that was fine I’m not willing to risk myself.”

Isabel has seen first hand the devastation that HIV can cause. “I’m so scared everywhere here I see people dying I ask myself is it AIDS or are they starving? Sometimes when they hear their husband or wife is infected, they get confused and scared and they drink poison, that is so wrong and unnatural.”

The problem is that Isabel’s allergic to the condoms she has found in Zimbabwe. She approached the Africa Goal team to ask if we had any alternatives, and we offered her some natural rubber condoms. However we fear that it is the latex, which is present in all but the most expensive condoms, that she reacts to.

Elizabeth is not willing to risk it and says “If these don’t work I will give it up. These things are secondary. What’s important is to stay well. I want to see my daughter graduate as a nurse and prosper.”

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