This story comes from FH staff member Renee Targos.
Through Food for the Hungry's HIV/AIDS program in Haiti, people are winning the fight.
Jure Gaston lives in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Once a physically strong man working as a karate teacher, Jure became so ill he was unable to stand. He didn't understand what was happening to his body or how to care for himself. He mentally prepared himself to die.
After being diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, Jure joined FH's Community Health and AIDS Mitigation Project. The program supports men and women living with HIV/AIDS with social support and education. Today, Jure speaks out about HIV/AIDS to educate Haitians and break down the walls that isolate so many living with the disease.
Jure hopes that through education and care, adults and children diagnosed with the disease will find a future and a way to use their gifts. He also hopes that stigmas will decrease.
“All the people I used to be friends with, they would talk bad about HIV-positive people without knowing that I am HIV-positive,” says Jure.
He wants people like his old friends to know they are safe around him. “I'm just an HIV carrier, but I'm not sick. I've learned how to have a healthy life.”
Jure has resumed teaching karate but also has become passionate about helping others to have hope.
“Now I am another person,” he says. “I am treated, and I'm in good shape. I was not in peace years ago, and now I am peaceful. And I'm going to teach others, so they can have the same peace and have a fruitful life.”