February 25th, 2011
10:24 AM ET

Church leader reverses stance on HIV, reaches out to those affected

HIV is a curse from God. That's what Patricia Sawo used to tell others as a church leader in Kitale, Kenya.

"I thought it was a moral issue and a punishment for the disobedient," Sawo remembers.

Then one morning in 1999, Sawo awoke to find her body covered in shingles, a rash commonly associated with HIV. Scared and upset, she cried in the bathroom for two hours. A test soon confirmed her fears: She was HIV-positive.

"I couldn't believe it," said Sawo, now 45. "It was, 'Oh my God, how could this happen to me?' "

Read the full story
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • HIV • Kenya

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