Patients like Marie bear witness to the ebbs and flow of global HIV funding. SBH does everything in its power to support people living with HIV/AIDS, but the availability of global funding has become more restrictive each year. Marie, like many of the hospital’s patients, struggles financially. When her husband died six years ago, Marie’s family lost any semblance of financial stability. She used to be able to travel to the hospital every month for her medication refills and checkups. But now, even with financial support from the hospital, she can only afford to visit St. Boniface every six months.
In between hospital trips, staff from the HIV/AIDS program conduct home visits with Marie and other vulnerable patients to make sure they are doing as well as possible. Bringing care directly to the patient eliminates the burden of affording regular transportation to the hospital. Junior likes to meet with patients to better understand their challenges, and he tailors his approach to fit their individual needs. Junior sees Marie as a priority. He hopes to help one of Marie’s daughters start a business so she can better support her mother, and he is helping to increase Marie’s access to clean water by teaching her how to use water purification tablets.
Marie, however, is content with her situation. With the support of the SBH’s HIV/AIDS program and her community, she is able to make it work. Marie goes to church, she cares for her children and grandchildren and is able to live a relatively normal life. When asked her biggest problem, Marie leans back in her chair, throws up her hands, and declares, “Problems? I have no problems. My life is simple.”