Meeting a person with HIV in their own home is the simple but challenging key to Home-based HIV care.
Simple and solid – because we are in the person’s own place of residence. We are now the guest – instead of calling the shots and telling people where to sit as happens in a hospital OPD. As we stoop to enter the door, we are also (hopefully) stooping in our inner being and accepting hospitality. This is sometimes hard to do, but so important, since it gives great dignity to our positive friends and their care-givers.
Challenging, because you never know what will happen.
When the neighbour lady stops in to see who the ‘guests’ are – then the conversation has to avoid anything to do with HIV, medications etc.
When things get out of control and an argument erupts between the spouses we are meeting. Do we allow the talk to take its course? We we intervene? Do we get up and say we will come again?
Difficult when each time the same issues keep showing themselves. Each family has its own share of miseries. For some, it is fear and shame regarding others. For others an inability to get work. Still others are tired of being sick – and caring for the sick. Others have issues of alcohol abuse – and the seedy business of working through broken relationships.
For each home visit we go with a prayer. We listen. We encourage. We check on the physical well-being, the emotional situations, the relational issues, the life of the spirit. We leave words of encouragement. Offer advice when needed (and likely to be heeded!). Usually share some words from God’s word – and a prayer.
Coming out of the home we never know how much good has been finally done. But we do know that lives are being changed – as they go through the valley of having HIV.