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HIV+ Ethiopian Refugees in Sudan Navigate Camps Without Access to Meds

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Living with HIV as a Refugee

For most of the Ethiopian refugees who fled the conflict in Tigray to Eastern Sudan, life at the camps has been hard. But there are even more challenges for those living with chronic illnesses without access to medication.

Aksamaweet Garazgerer, an HIV+ Ethiopian refugee, explains the stark difference in how she feels depending on the availability of her prescription drugs, "When I take the medication with the food, I am good. I don't get sick. I don't have a fever. I don't have a cold. But now my supply has finished. I am so tired. I keep fainting."

Many living with HIV are going without antiretroviral medication. A situation compounded by the inadequate shelter and difficult daily survival conditions — fearing for their lives for different reasons.

Terhas Adiso, another Ethiopian refugee living with HIV, is worried about her health as time goes by, "This week if I don't find this medication, I will suffer. Now when you see the dead they don't get up. I'll be as good as dead. I am scared for myself and my son, he is young. He will be left alone. For my son, I am crying and I am scared."

Exhausted, stressed and having to stay strong for their families in light of the already dire situation at the camp is a lot for anyone to carry, but all hope is not lost for these Ethiopian war survivors.

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