BoinuBoinu, 26 years old, is an IDU–widow. Her husband died from an AIDS–related condition in 2004. Born and brought up in Dimapur (Nagaland), Boinu got married at 19. She has two daughters, aged 8 and 6 years old. Her husband was into business thus traveled extensively. He got into injecting drug use immediately after his marriage as a result of peer pressure. Despite her husband's drug use, Boinu and her husband received support from both the families. After her husband's death she found out that she and her older daughter were also both HIV–positive. She says that her positive status created a great turmoil within her, fear of the unknown, and especially a fear of rejection in case people should come to know of her status.
She developed low self–esteem and became depressed. She isolated herself from her friends and the community. While she was in this state of mind, a peer educator of UNODC I49 project contacted her and introduced her to the WIN (women in need) Self help group (SHG). After joining the SHG, she learned that the experience she had gone through is often the experience felt by many other HIV–positive persons. The peer educator provided knowledge on HIV and AIDS as well as sexually transmitted infections to the Self help group (SHG) members. She also shared information on the existing health services and other available services with different government departments. Boinu was helped to access referral service to the Civil Hospital for opportunistic medicines for both herself and her daughter. She was also able to get a CD4 count and counseling.
Both her daughters are going to school and are keeping good health. Her family continues to support her and she is in constant touch with her in–laws. Boinu has become more confident, happier and living positively with her status. She is helping WIN to reach out to other positive persons.
Recently, Boinu was selected to attend a training in Bangkok, for Socioeconomic Empowerment for PLHA, supported by UNAIDS. She is waiting for the sanction of a proposal submitted to UNAIDS after the training. The WIN SHG is making embroidery items and areca plates and has recently filled various orders. She says she will always be grateful to the peer educator who was available and always ready and willing to listen to her problems and those of other affected and infected women.