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MAGIC OF TAKING AN HIV TEST

03-Nov-2010

I am Namono Rehema 37 years old, a single mother of two sons who has lived as a single mother since 2000 after separating with my husband.  My first born completed S4 in November 2010 and the last born is currently in P3. I am currently working a Home for street Children in Walukuba Jinja District.

I stayed without knowing my HIV Sero Status, there came a counselor from AIC a brother in Christ who used to visit me and shared with me information about HIV.

I did not bothered because I knew Iam alone and there was nothing wrong with my health regarding HIV because ever since I separated with my husband ten years ago, I had never engaged in any sexual relationship with anyone.

He kept educating me about HIV/AIDS until I opted to take an HIV test.

It was one morning this year on 13th Febuary 2010, the counselor called me that there were celebrating AIC 20th anniversary at main street primary school Jinja and there was going to be HIV Testing as well.

I immediately responded reached the venue, welcomed by counselor Lydia.  I was counseled and my blood was drawn for testing. When the test results come back the counselor told me that the results were HIV Positive, I did not believe, not accepting at all because I was like I have stayed alone for a long time how come that the results were HIV Positive.

After post test counselling I accepted the results and agreed to live positively with the HIV.

But still something remained in me that one day the result would change.  On the day I received my results I disclosed to counselor Edward. Two days later counselor Edward called me to come and access the other services at AIC main branch.  I went the following day and a CD4 count was done which was at 240 then, I was given septrin and basic care package.  When I went back home, I did not sleep the whole night thinking about the next move because I am a bread win of my home, my mother and my followers depend on me with the little income that I get.

I was disturbed knowing that my life is ending tomorrow.  One day I had to sit down and revise my life that I have ever gone with a man because once I was married several operations where done on me (cesarean  section), ever got involved in an accident of many people and even touched somebody who had died of HIV with my bear hands.  I combined all these risks and accepted to leave a positive life.  Before testing I looked tiny and funny, I could not eat well, I could feel stomachache, headache, and chest pain on and off.  I did not have somebody immediately to disclose my results because I was referred to Family Hope to enroll of ART.  Before enrollment as a prerequisite I had to come with a drug partner and the counselor was the only person whom I believed could act as a drug partner.  So when I requested Counsellor Edward to be my drug partner, he accepted and thereafter I was enrolled on ART.

I selected few friends whom I disclosed my result to among them was a cousin sister.  I was surprised when she told me she was HIV positive too. She told me to forget all about thoughts and be myself. 

To the church, I only disclosed to my pastor who was so much disturbed, he offered to pray for me. 

I went to Family Hope where I was started on ART, I have a petite for food and I look generally healthy.  When I reviewed my CD4 it had raised from 240 to 880 after 6 months, my weight has improved from 40 baseline to 53 kgs. I also reached my friend Ruth (not real name) and took her to AIC for testing.  She also tested positive, she is on treatment, visiting the sick, and I am her drug partner. 

I urge people to test understand themselves, if found positive accept and if found negative keep on being faithful.

I disclosed to my children who have always been there to remind me whenever I am supposed to take drugs.  I have religious adhered to my drug schedule and I continue to adhere.

I thank AIC for the services they have offered me, Counsellor Edward for having accepted to be my drug partner and Family Hope for providing ART and the ongoing counseling he has always provided. Not to forget my pastor for the spiritual support.