When Betty Sande’s husband died, she had no one to help her. One day, she begged her friend to borrow her some money but she was turned down. According to her friend, she would rather take her to where she gets her money from.
That night, Betty’s friend led her to the street where she does prostitution.
Having lost a husband and saddled with the sole responsibility of catering for her children, Betty decided to be become a prostitute. And just like every other jobs, Betty says being a prostitute is not easy.
“You need to harden your heart to be able to do it. A customer can take advantage of you by refusing to pay you, or they can also beat you, or throw you out of a moving vehicle, or the police can arrest you,” she told BBC Africa the challenges that comes with being a sex worker.
Many years later, Betty decided to stop her sex work after she got pregnant. And after a test was done at the hospital, she was discovered to be HIV positive.
“I do not regret contracting the HIV virus, because it has made me to become more knowledgeable than I used to be,” she said.
Betty’s children know her status and they have accepted her. She takes care of their responsibilities by making peanut butter and house mats.
People like Betty have help groups where they are taught different skills so that they can be self-dependent. Betty also gives back to the society by encouraging other sex workers who are HIV positive.
Watch her share her story here