+FIRST: Zainab Kahaye

Zainab’s story isn’t just about HIV, it’s about stigma, shame and immigration – and the power to overcome everything life has thrown at you.

Zainab escaped a brutal civil war in Somalia after being married at 12, mothering 6 children and enduring female circumcision only to discover while undergoing testing at an immigration detention center that she is HIV+.

Most would have given up. She nearly did. But the compassion of one nurse gave her hope. And though she had to fight the stigma of HIV and being a new immigrant – even with her first physician – she perservered.

Now Zainab is an activist and works with HIV/AIDS patients. Her story is inspiring. She is even more so. We all need a little of her courage inside of us.

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