Positibong Marino Philippines Inc. (PMPI), the pioneering NGO championing the rights of HIV-positive seafarers in the Philippines.
Aida is a seafarer working on a cruise ship and in 2018, her test results came back positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and she was deported from the country where they were docked at the time.
“So many changes happened in my life – many of them difficult. I almost lost hope that I would ever be able to board a ship again. I applied to many companies, but I was always rejected because of my HIV status. Two years passed and I was ready to give up when the last company I sent my application to accepted me. They told me that they were willing to take me on despite my HIV-positive status so long as I would be able to do the work,” she said.
“Now it’s been two months and I still cannot believe that I was accepted and that I can still work. I am very relieved and happy, especially because I can continue to earn for my family. My gratitude is also boundless because I have a good doctor who is helping me manage my condition. There is still hope for people like me – people living with HIV.”