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RWANDA-UGANDA: Joash Runga, "I sleep with my wife and my girlfriend, that's all"

Photo: IRIN
"On the road, there are so many dangers"
Katuna, 7 January 2009 (PlusNews) - Joash Runga, 44, a long-distance trucker, is spending the night at the Rwanda-Uganda border town of Katuna. At the end of a hard day's drive, he likes nothing better than to kick back in one of the local bars and have a cold beer. He talked to IRIN/PlusNews about the dangers of the road and his belief that having one girlfriend instead of many reduced his chances of contracting HIV.

"I will park the truck, book into a lodge, have a shower then come into the bar for a beer and some food. This is not an easy job. This trip I have jet fuel that I am transporting from Kenya to the DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo].

"On the road, there are so many dangers; we have lost many brothers through accidents, AIDS and other sicknesses. When I have a break, I like to use it to relax and enjoy life - after all, who knows how long I have?

"My wife is back home in Kenya, and I have a girlfriend here in Katuna whom I see when I make the journey. I have been with her since she was young, maybe about 19 years old; now she is almost 30.

"Although I drink, I am careful not to sleep around, because these towns are full of malayas [commercial sex workers] who can give you AIDS. I sleep with my wife and my girlfriend, that's all.

"My wife gets tested for HIV when she is pregnant, and because she is negative, I believe I am also negative. I have never been tested for HIV, and my girlfriend, as far as I know, has also never tested.

"I hope she is faithful to me, but you can never know, can you? I treat her well, pay her rent and give her money to spend, so I hope she respects me and does not sleep around.

"I can't give her up because the alternative is sleeping with prostitutes; I am away from my wife for so long and I have needs. If I get HIV, then that's my unlucky day."


See also: RWANDA-UGANDA: Long haul trucking, long distance love

Theme (s): HIV/AIDS (PlusNews),

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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