My employer told me I was HIV positive


When I found out from my employer that I was HIV positive I suddenly began to lose everything. Overnight I was jobless, homeless, and without a family. There were no workmates or friends to turn to but God. He gave me hope and I am forever thankful to Him.

I was 29 years old when I was overseas for studies where I met and fell in love with a woman who also loved and adored me. We planned to marry but my scholarship was prematurely terminated and I was forced to return home. My boss said I would only qualify for full salary if I returned to Fiji so I had no choice but to come home. My girlfriend and I exchanged phone numbers and email and postal addresses before we parted in the hope that we would meet again some day in the near future.

I intended to complete my education and then return to propose to her. Back home, through a family friend I was introduced to another girl described as ‘very sweet’. My friends said she was a virgin and I fell for that. Within three months my new girlfriend was pregnant and because I had strong family values I married her without second thoughts. A month after marriage I found out my wife had a child from a previous relationship but it was too late to do anything. I had a good job and high chances of promotion so I held on to the relationship and spent long hours away from home. A year later my child died.

At that time, even though I was financially responsible for my wife’s extended family, things seemed manageable. For two years this was the situation until one day I was informed through my employer that my wife had AIDS and he sacked me on the spot. It was as simple as that and the pain was unbearable, while the stigma associated with AIDS stuck on me like glue. In seconds my whole world was snatched from me. I couldn’t even apply for another job because the employers in my field all knew each other and were in constant contact. It was such a blow and I was thunderstruck as my self-esteem nose dived.

I later found out my employer knew about my wife’s status through a workmate’s wife who was a nurse at the hospital. My wife passed away in 2004 and I have since forgiven her, even though I have also been diagnosed with HIV. I remain single and shy and do not intend to settle down yet. Fortunately my dreams have returned and I have gradually picked up the courage to sue my employer for unfair dismissal.

I hope to win my case some day soon to show that people living with HIV deserve to be treated humanely.