Success Stories


By Samira Bashar Galadima

In the small village of Jangeru in the Shinkafi Local Government of Zamfara, there resided a young woman named Shamsiya. Her life had been filled with immense sadness and unimaginable heartache. She had suffered the loss of several beloved children, some of whom were stillborn while others passed away before reaching their first birthdays. Overwhelmed by grief, Shamsiya attributed these tragic deaths to dark forces like jinns or malicious rituals.
Little did she know that fate had a different path in store for her, a path that would lead her towards hope, healing, and an extraordinary triumph over adversity. One fateful day, a compassionate Peer Navigator from SFH-KP-CARE2 Zamfara arrived in her village. The Peer Navigator, specially trained to provide guidance and support to Key Populations facing various health challenges, offered free HIV tests to individuals like Shamsiya, who happened to be a person who injects drugs (PWID).

Recognising the immense pain Shamsiya carried within her, the Peer Navigator approached her with empathy and kindness. They engaged in lengthy conversations, during which Shamsiya poured out her deepest emotions. Sensing the need for further investigation, the Navigator gently suggested that Shamsiya undergo an HIV test. Filled with a mix of apprehension and curiosity, Shamsiya agreed, unaware of the life-changing revelation that awaited her.
Upon receiving the test results, Shamsiya’s world seemed to crumble as the reality of her HIV-positive status sank in. Fear, confusion, and despair threatened to engulf her, but the Navigator stood by her side, offering comfort and a glimmer of hope. Shamsiya received pre-test and post-test counseling, and with newfound strength, she made the brave decision to embark on a journey towards treatment and recovery.
With the unwavering support of the dedicated team at SFH-KP-CARE2 Zamfara, Shamsiya wholeheartedly committed herself to adhering to the prescribed medications. Months passed, and as she diligently followed her treatment regimen, a miracle unfolded. Shamsiya discovered that she was once again pregnant, a prospect that evoked both excitement and anxiety. However, this time, a renewed sense of hope accompanied her.

Regular check-ups and constant guidance from compassionate Case Managers and the healthcare facility referred to for ANC ensured that Shamsiya received the best possible care throughout her pregnancy. As her due date approached, a mixture of anxiety and anticipation filled her, but Shamsiya’s viral load results provided reassurance, indicating a potential for a healthy birth.
Finally, the long-awaited day arrived, and tears of joy streamed down Shamsiya’s face as she brought a lively and healthy baby boy into the world. The room overflowed with love and gratitude, as this little life represented a triumph over the shadows of the past. Following the guidelines provided by the clinical team and adherence counselor, Shamsiya made sure her son received Nevirapine for six weeks.
As time went by, the little boy thrived, filling their humble home with his laughter. Shamsiya’s heart brimmed with gratitude as the results of his first and second DBS (dried blood spot) tests came back negative. Her precious son was free from HIV, a testament to her unwavering dedication to his well-being and the unwavering support she received from the caring professionals around her.

With each passing year, the boy grew stronger and healthier, defying the odds that were stacked against him at birth. Shamsiya prioritised giving him the best education she could afford, determined to provide him with a future full of possibilities. Supported by his loving mother and the community that had witnessed their remarkable journey, the young boy flourished, showcasing his bright mind.
Shamsiya’s story touched the hearts of many who heard it, serving as a reminder of the strength and resilience that lies within each of us. Her tale of triumph over despair inspired others to seek help, share their burdens, and break free from the chains of stigma and ignorance. Shamsiya became an advocate, raising awareness about HIV prevention and treatment.