Aron Aoko Moses is a 24year old male from Homabay County, Mbita Sub-County who works part time as a boat cleaner and sometimes joins different fishing crews to go for fishing. He is an O-Level graduate who volunteers as a Persons Who Inject Drugs (PWID) Peer Educator at IRDO Mbita Drop In Center (DiCe)
His is a story that takes him through an emotional roller coaster as he explains to us how he got himself to injecting heroine and in the process lost his family.
Aron remembers his early childhood in Manyatta Estate, Kisumu County, where he lived with his mother and brothers while his father worked in Mombasa. He narrates of how his mother would constantly scold him and beat him up for not performing well in school.
“However much I tried to study, I always failed and my mother would beat me senseless,” recalls Aron One evening while preparing to play football, his uncle called him offering to give him a solution to his failing in school. He eagerly followed the uncle to his house. While there, Aron tells us the uncle mixed some powder (which he later on knew was heroine). He was 15 years old then and wanted to pass his KCPE so that the mother could be proud of him.
“Once my uncle was done with mixing the concoction and filled it in a syringe, he then tied my arm tightly while slightly hitting it. I almost backed out when I saw him carrying a syringe but he assured me that that was the only way to please my mum. He injected it and I passed out for hours. I woke up to go home feeling weak,” narrates Aron On seeing him, the mother took him to hospital, suspecting he was suffering from Malaria. The doctor could not find out what was ailing him and therefore decided to admit him upon further examination.
“My uncle came to visit me and when we were alone in the room he injected me with the concoction he first did and right away I felt well. I was later discharged and went back home. I kept receiving jabs from my uncle until one day, three months later, my mother found us in the act. She quickly intercepted the drugs and syringe while my uncle ran away. Mum took me to the doctor, curious to know what was being injected in me and the doctor told her it was heroine. She kicked me out and I became a street kid,” says Aron.
When in the streets, he missed the drugs and always strived to get it. Life was harsh to him and he opted to go home but was not welcomed. Instead the brothers tied him up and took him to the police station where he was locked up. During his court hearing, he managed to escape finding himself in Homabay.
In Homabay, he would do odd jobs and bought bang trying to get the high he used to get in heroine. Luckily, a well-wisher took him back to school and he did his class eight and did well. He later joined a high school and it is here where his addiction grew since he met some students who were also using and supplying the drug. Miraculously, he got a C+ in his KCSE. Once out of school he went in and out of prison due to the crimes he kept committing to fuel his addiction.
It was only after meeting a Dice Counselor who persistently tried to talk to him about the lethal dangers that he is exposing himself to that he decided to change his ways. He stopped stealing and even reduced his drug intake. He is now a peer educator who help other PWIDs stay away from practices that may expose them to HIV.
“Nowadays, I spent every day helping fellow PWIDs to fight HIV and drop the drug abuse all together. I should be dead by now but thanks to IRDO am here today to share my experiences so that no one suffers like I did,” concludes Aron