Ndéye Astou Diop, Noumousso Mariko, Oumou Diarra and Assétou Keita are among the first and rare women to have bravely stepped forward in their countries to break the silence. They paved the way for others and share the same battle: the right to a positive and healthy life.
The central issue of the HIV epidemic in West and Central Africa is the stigma and discrimination surrounding the disease, which are fueled by myths about HIV transmission, moral judgements and lack of access to appropriate information. The story of HIV in Mali and Senegal is a story of thousands of women who are denigrated, ostracized and rejected. It is a story of women consumed with worry and guilt, and the constant fear of being seen at an HIV clinic.