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Living Proof: Ethiopia – The Barbershop
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Living Proof: Ethiopia – The Barbershop
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After testing positive for HIV, one Ethiopian woman refuses to give up. Instead, she takes out a small loan to start a business and support her family, while also vowing to educate her community about HIV.
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Produced by Living Proof. For more information, go to ONE.org/livingproof.
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Segment 1

MESTAWIT
I opened a barbershop four years ago because I don't want to be dependent on charity. Just because I have this virus does not mean I can't earn a living.
TITLE
Thirty-three year old Mestawit found out she was HIV positive after her husband died.
TITLE
Nazareth, Ethiopia
MESTAWIT
I knew that my husband had HIV because of his symptoms. When I suggested that the family all go and get tested, he refused, and he hit me for even suggesting such.
TITLE
With free ARVs and seed money she opened her barbershop in a busy marketplace
MESTAWIT
I am making enough money to pay the rent and take care of my children. Have you ever been tested?
CUSTOMER
Yes, I was tested. I was HIV-free.
MESTAWIT
I don't keep my HIV status a secret from any of my customers. I would like to see people's attitudes shift. I want those who did not have any prior knowledge about HIV to be able to say, "Now I understand." I do not want others to be victims of the virus. I tell them to be monogamous in their relationships, to practice abstinence and to use condoms. I'm not ashamed to talk about this. I want the community to look at me and learn from my experience. I want the next generation to have an HIV-free life. I am able to work and raise children. I am alive and that's what makes me happy.
TITLE
Living Proof: Real Lives. Real Progress.
TITLE
In 2009, 444,700 HIV-positive Ethiopians received care and support; 245,600 were women.
TITLE
Living Proof: Real Lives. Real Progress. www.one.org/livingproof