The blog of Bill Gates
gatesnotes
The blog of Bill Gates

Strength in Numbers

Log in
|
Sign up
 
GO
Your search for "", with selected filters, does not match any posts. Please try again with a different search term or reset filters.

Popular searches include: Books, Malaria, and Future of Food.
RELATED ARTICLES ON
Logout:


Become a Gates Notes Insider
Become a Gates Notes Insider
Join the Gates Notes community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, participate in giveaways, and more.
Already joined? Log in
spacer
LOG IN
SIGN UP
Sign up with your social account:
Sign up
Sign up
Or sign up with email:
TITLE
FIRST NAME
LAST NAME
EMAIL
This email is already registered. Enter a new email, try signing in or retrieve your password
PASSWORD
ADDRESS
Why are we collecting this information? Gates Notes may send a welcome note or other exclusive Insider mail from time to time. Additionally, some campaigns and content may only be available to users in certain areas. Gates Notes will never share and distribute your information with external parties.
ADDRESS LINE 1
Bill may send you a welcome note or other exclusive Insider mail from time to time. We will never share your information.
ADDRESS LINE 2
CITY
STATE / PROVINCE / REGION
ZIP / POSTAL CODE
COUNTRY
Sign up
Join the Gates Notes community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, subscribe to your favorite topics and more. We will never share or spam your email address. For more information see our Sign Up FAQ. By clicking "Sign Up" you agree to the Gates Notes Terms of Use / Privacy Policy.
Street address
City
postal_town
State Zip code
administrative_area_level_2
Country
Data
Personal Information
Title
First name
Last name
Save
Cancel
Email address
This email is already registered
Save
Cancel
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
Password
Save
Cancel
Address
ADDRESS LINE 1
ADDRESS LINE 2
CITY
STATE / PROVINCE / REGION
ZIP / POSTAL CODE
COUNTRY
Save
Cancel
Email & Notification Settings
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
Send me comment notifications via email
On-screen comment notifications
Interests
+ Saving Lives
+ Energy Innovation
+ Improving Education
+ Alzheimer's
+ Philanthropy
+ Book Reviews
+ About Bill Gates
Deactivate Account
Click the link below to begin the account deactivation process. Deactivate account If you want to permanently delete your account and remove its content, please send us a request here.
Ok
Gates Notes Insider Sign Up FAQ

Q. How do I create a Gates Notes account?

A. There are three ways you can create a Gates Notes account:

  • Sign up with Facebook. We’ll never post to your Facebook account without your permission.
  • Sign up with Twitter. We’ll never post to your Twitter account without your permission.
  • Sign up with your email. Enter your email address during sign up. We’ll email you a link for verification.

Q. Will you ever post to my Facebook or Twitter accounts without my permission?

A. No, never.

Q. How do I sign up to receive email communications from my Gates Notes account?

A. In Account Settings, click the toggle switch next to “Send me updates from Bill Gates.”

Q. How will you use the Interests I select in Account Settings?

A. We will use them to choose the Suggested Reads that appear on your profile page.

spacer
BACK
Forgot your password?
Enter the email you used to sign up and a reset password link will be sent to you.
EMAIL
This email is already registered. Enter a new email, try signing in or retrieve your password
Reset Password
Bill's Suggested Posts
I've read this book
Books to Read
Reset your password.
Set New Password
Your password has been reset. You will now be redirected to the sign in page, or you can click here
Ok
Get emails from Bill Gates
Send me updates from Bill
You must provide an email
Send me comment notifications via email
On-screen comment notifications
This email is already registered
Continue
We will never share or spam your email address. For more information see our Sign up FAQ. By clicking "Continue" you agree to the Gates Notes Terms of Use / Privacy Policy.
You're in!
You're in!
Please check your email and click the link provided to verify your account.
Didn't get an email from us? Resend verification email
spacer
Update Your Profile Information
UPLOAD A PROFILE PICTURE
your image
Uh Oh!
The image you are trying to upload is either too big or is an unacceptable format. Please upload a .jpg or .png image that is under 25MB.
Ok
Title
First name
Last name
Save
Cancel
Email address
This email is already registered
Save
Cancel
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
EMAIL AND NOTIFICATION SETTINGS
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
Send me comment notifications via email
On-screen comment notifications
SELECT YOUR INTERESTS
+ Saving Lives
+ Energy Innovation
+ Improving Education
+ Alzheimer's
+ Philanthropy
+ Book Reviews
+ About Bill Gates
Continue
Confirm Account Deactivation
Are you sure you want to deactivate your account?
Deactivating your account will unsubscribe you from Gates Notes emails, and will remove your profile and account information from public view on the Gates Notes. Please allow for 24 hours for the deactivation to fully process. You can sign back in at any time to reactivate your account and restore its content.
Deactivate My Acccount
Go Back
Your Gates Notes account has been deactivated.
Come back anytime.
Welcome back
In order to unsubscribe you will need to sign-in to your Gates Notes Insider account
Once signed in just go to your Account Settings page and set your subscription options as desired.
Sign In
Request account deletion
We’re sorry to see you go. Your request may take a few days to process; we want to double check things before hitting the big red button. Requesting an account deletion will permanently remove all of your profile content. If you’ve changed your mind about deleting your account, you can always hit cancel and deactivate instead.
Submit
Cancel
Thank You! Your request has been sent
Please complete your account verification. Resend verification email.
This verification token has expired.
Your email address has been verified. Update my profile.
Your account has been deactivated. Sign up to re-activate your account.
View all newsletters in the newsletter archive
You are now unsubscribed from receiving emails.
Sorry, we were unable to unsubscribe you at this time.

Thanks for visiting the Gates Notes.
We'd like your feedback.

Yes, I'll take the survey No thanks
Become a
Gates Notes Insider
Join the Gates Notes community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, participate in giveaways, and more.
SIGN UP
The blog of Bill Gates
Strength in Numbers
Follow
Next
 
Profile & Settings
Sign Out
Profile & Settings
Sign Out
Hello,
Profile & Settings
Comment History
Sign Out
Please complete your account verification. Resend verification email.
today
This verification token has expired.
today
Your email address has been verified. Update my profile.
today
Your account has been deactivated. Sign up to re-activate your account.
today
View all newsletters in the newsletter archive
today
You are now unsubscribed from receiving emails.
today
Sorry, we were unable to unsubscribe you at this time.
today
0
0
0
Please complete your account verification. Resend verification email.
today
This verification token has expired.
today
Your email address has been verified. Update my profile.
today
Your account has been deactivated. Sign up to re-activate your account.
today
View all newsletters in the newsletter archive
today
You are now unsubscribed from receiving emails.
today
Sorry, we were unable to unsubscribe you at this time.
today
Back to profile
Comment History
You have not left any comments yet.
title
in reply to
name
description
It looks like you're using an older version of Internet Explorer which may not display all the features on this site. Upgrade Now » close
Heroes

Strength in Numbers

Last year, at an event in New York, I learned about an impressive woman whose story I want to share with you. Her name is Cacilda Fumo, she lives in Mozambique, and every year she helps save hundreds of lives—by reminding them they are not alone.

Mozambique has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world. More than 1.6 million people—10 percent of the adult population—are living with HIV.

Cacilda was diagnosed with HIV in 2002. “When I first learned about it, I thought I would die,” she recalls. “I used to wake up early morning and check if I am alive or not.”

But then she started meeting other people living with HIV, and as their numbers grew so did her strength and her belief she would live. Cacilda was one of the first in Maputo to be open about her status. She started wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a logo that reads: “HIV POSITIVE.”

At times, people rejected her because of her status. Many more in her community, however, admired her for her courage, helping her create an even larger circle of friends and supporters. They met every week, praying together, cooking together, and sharing their stories. Eventually, the group had about one hundred people, many of them receiving life-saving anti-retroviral treatment. Cacilda emerged as their leader.

About the same time, Mozambique’s Ministry of Health was struggling to improve the delivery of anti-retroviral treatment. While the program was successful in putting thousands of patients on treatment for the first time, medical staff were overburdened with caseloads. People on HIV treatment often walked miles to reach their clinic and waited in long lines to get care. Every year, about 30 percent of HIV patients dropped off their life-saving treatment.

Working with Doctors Without Borders, the government of Mozambique decided to try a new approach to simplify care to help keep more people on treatment. They started organizing small peer support groups for people on HIV treatment. The idea was simple. Make treatment easier by putting more control into the hands of the patients. A representative from each patient group could pick up all the drugs for the group each month, saving the rest of the group the hassle of going to the clinic. Members of the groups, known as Community antiretroviral therapy (ART) Groups or CAGs, would also support one another to ensure they were all staying on their treatment.

When the program reached Maputo, Cacilda was ready to join. She helped organize dozens of support groups from her network. Then she went one step further. She kept track of the groups, checking whether members were attending their meetings and taking their treatment. If someone fell off treatment, she took upon herself to locate them and find out what was wrong.

“We help people feel strong knowing they are not alone,” she says.

Some patients who stop treatment are addicted to alcohol and forget to take their treatment, she says. Some don’t understand how the treatment works and the stop taking their medication as soon as they feel better. Others get busy with their jobs and drift away.

Whatever the reason, Cacilda warns them of the dangers of stopping treatment and encourages them to restart. Her efforts to bring back residents of Maputo to treatment has become nearly full-time work. Most days residents of Maputo see Cacilda traveling on foot—which is remarkable because due to a childhood injury she uses crutches—through the dirty alleyways and crowded markets in search of people who have stopped treatment. She doesn’t give up until she finds them.

Cacilda’s persistence pays off—in lives saved. Cacilda estimates that she tracks down about 500 people every year and encourages them to resume their treatment.

That’s a remarkable achievement—one that proves how much difference one life can make in the world. 

Also on Gates Notes