I’m Ruth*; I’m 29 years old. At the age of 17 I was sexually abused and decided to mess up my life. For 5 years I was deep into drugs, alcoholism, juvenile delinquency and Satanism, going from one gang to another, of all kinds. I was jailed for a year and 8 months for being an accessory to a crime. I was in jail waiting for a sentence of 25 years.  There they forced me to do an analysis, of which one was the Test Elisa and I was diagnosed as HIV+. At that time I was 19 years old, and all I wanted to do was to commit suicide. It was at that moment when I continued to use more drugs. When I left the jail, I started to mug and rob people to survive. I disappeared from the neighborhood I was living in, and went to another place where I got into prostitution, already as HIV+. This way I earned money to feed myself and buy drugs.

For 5 months I almost never ate food, but only consumed cocaine and smoked cigarette. I got to a point where I couldn’t hold myself up anymore and I depended on a guy who lived with me and maintained me, until one day he found me on the floor, almost dead. During this time my family was able to locate me and they took me to the hospital, where the doctors told them that admitting me won’t help anymore since they hardly find on me any vital signs. The drugs had made my defense very low, up to the point where I only had 32 kg. I was hospitalized, a step away from death. I fought for my life but it was very hard; I wanted to keep living, but I also wanted to keep taking drugs.

One day, a pastor visited me and said that God had something prepared for my life. He invited me to accept Jesus as my Savior and give my life to Christ. It has been two years of incredible battle with my personal life. I was in rehab at REMAR; this way I was able to find a direction to my life. Then I moved into a home called “United for Christ” (Unidos por Cristo). I lived there for 4 years. At that place God blessed me with a mother and 250 brothers. It was a huge family where we shared devotions and Christ’s love daily. I learned to be sensitive for others and pray for those who haven’t known Christ yet. I became the young teen’s leader and missionary, and I took care of the kids as though they were my own.

It has been 6 months since I’d left the Home and the promise I made to God to work with people who live with HIV/AIDS was fulfilled.

I decided to follow the new life Christ gave me, and to this day I can fight along with people who are like how I was, telling them that there is hope and better life in Christ.

Note: illustrative image.


*changed name


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