Seated under a cool mango tree at Bugono Health Centre IV, this is where Kasita found out her status. She’s a shy, kind young lady, only 19 years old. She’s also living with HIV.
So many times Kasita had seen and participated in UVP’s sensitizations for HIV, but never sought HIV testing for herself. Since she never felt ill or with a history of sexually transmitted infections, Kasita didn’t think an HIV test was necessary, but she always had a little fear that the test might be positive. This month she was brave.
When she first found out about her status she was frightened and upset. “Usually fear is the beginning of all troubles,” she said. “But with time, we adjust, we seek help, and we live a healthy life.”
As Kasita looks to the future, she is confident and hopefully. Her 8 month old beautiful baby girl needs her, and she is committed to taking her antiretroviral therapy (ART) “until the end end of my life” as she would say.
Kasita also learned a powerful lesson: HIV is not only transmitted to people with multiple partners. This is the type of misinformation that continues to perpetuate stigma for individuals living with HIV.
Through UVP-led community sensitization, more women like Kasita (and her husband too!) are able to know their status, seek life-saving treatment, and undo harmful myths to live a happy, healthy life.
By Harriet Nakayiza, Program Coordinator