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Uzbek Girl Grows Up In The Shadow Of HIV

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Ten-year-old Saida dreams of becoming a doctor, so she can help cure all the sick children in Andijon, her hometown in eastern Uzbekistan. But her mother isn't making many plans for Saida's future.

Saida is HIV-positive, although the girl's family has not yet told her about the potentially fatal condition.

Her mother, Umeda, has learned to keep many secrets since local doctors performed a routine blood test in 2008 and determined that Saida had the human immunodeficiency virus. Despite global advancements in the treatment and understanding of HIV and AIDS, many in Uzbekistan shun patients out of fear that the virus can be spread through general contact.

Fully aware of the social stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, Umeda tells her story to RFE/RL's Uzbek Service only on condition that her and her daughter's real names not be disclosed.

She says that, upon hearing of the diagnosis, her husband promptly walked out and hasn't contacted Saida or her two siblings since.

To read the full story

Written by Farangis Najibullah based on reports by RFE/RL's Uzbek Service correspondent Mekhribon Bekieva.

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Uzbek Girl Grows Up In The Shadow Of HIV

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