UGANDA: Angela Asiimwe, "If I tell them, they will chase me away"

Photo: Glenna Gordon/IRIN
"Now I know and so I will go for treatment"
Kampala, 14 January 2009 (PlusNews) - Angela Asiimwe*, 29, took part in a recent HIV testing campaign in the Ugandan capital, Kampala. She shared the results of her test, and her feelings about the future, with IRIN/PlusNews.

"I work in a hairdressing salon, and I have one kid who is six years old; I am also pregnant. I have a husband, but we are having troubles. I don't want to divorce because of problems with my dowry back in the village.

"This is the first test I'm getting. I do not fear it, since I need to know my status for my baby and then get special care [if I need it]. I want to protect myself and my kid and be strong.

"I heard about the testing from a friend at the market. They said to me, "You should be free to test". I've known about HIV for some time, but I've never had time for testing - I was taking care of my son alone.

"I don't know if my husband will test. I will share my results with him and encourage him to test. I don't use protection with him.

If I'm negative, I'll be happy, and if I'm positive, I know I will get treatment. When you are sick you have to go for treatment. If you are scared [to be tested], it helps nothing."

Asiimwe's test revealed that she was infected with HIV. After about an hour with a counsellor, she talked to IRIN/PlusNews about her plans for the future.

"It is positive. Now I know, and so I will go for treatment. I will not tell my family ... maybe my sister. She will need to help me with my kids. I hope the new kid I am carrying will not be positive.

"My husband has been crazy all along. My relatives will quarrel. If I tell them, they will chase me from the house."


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

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