Patrick from Cameroon

In Cameroon as a gay man you can choose to hide it and live a life that is arranged by other people or accept who you are and live your own life. I chose the second option and it was hard. Assaults, injuries and bad treatments were regular. And on top of that i found that i was hiv+ in 2008. 

People’s perception in Cameroon about homosexuality is brutal because of the importance of the catholic church and the politics who like to focus on homosexuality while the country have bigger problems than that. And many medias are constantly presenting gays people like deviants and obscenes, or people who are representing the devil on heart and are the cause of why the world is going to end.

The supply of medication to treat HIV is scarce. Doctors don’t prescribe any medicine as long as you don’t have symptoms. In other words you don’t get treated even though you are positive and infectious. I wanted to leave Cameroon and seeking for asylum as a refugee in Belgium due to my sexuality as where I was born being gay is still officially illegal, condemned by the penal code. The article 347bis condemns every person caught engaging in same sex act  to 6 months up to 1 year of prison. Furthermore, I had to leave Cameroon because I wanted a better treatment for my hiv+ condition.

In march 2014 I left Cameroon with a visa from China and the travel destination was Beijing. However the flight from Cameroon to Beijing would make a stop in Brussels. That’s how I managed to seek or asylum at the airport once we landed. The procedure lasted 3 weeks and all went well. And I stayed here. Coming to Belgium for me was like a dream. Now it has come true. I can live in a country where I am protected and respected as a human instead of being discriminated against or prosecuted because of who I am.  My health has improved as well. I am feeling well as I am undetectable since 3 years now.

I did lots of little jobs and in 2016 decided to go back to school to become a nurse. Now I have graduated and started working Last year in a rest home.

At 35 years old this year I can say I am grateful for lots of things even if is not always easy for a Black Man  living with aids because of the stigma about aids in the gay community but I am sure this will change only if people are well informed.

Last year I also started an NGO project called “humanity for all” with two friends of mine to fight for gays rights in Africa and immigrants around Europe and Belgium. 


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