I tested HIV-positive in 1990 while I was still serving as a soldier in Arua district. It took a while for me to break the news to my wife because I was scared of how she would feel and react. In 1992, I plucked up the courage to inform her about my status. I also encouraged her to take a test. She was so stigmatisedand separated with me. We stayed apart until 1995 when she agreed to go for an HIV test. The result showed she was negative and the doctor advised us on how to live together as a discordant couple. As much as it was difficult for my wife to accept me back with my status, she eventually managed to cope. With time, we grew to love each other even more. Our doctor has been very supportive; he has continued to counsel us. We now have three children who are all HIV-negative. My wife is a farmer and is still negative.
Given this background, my wife and I were chosen by ACFODE as a model couple to encourage other couples using our testimony since we are open about my status. Many couples that find out they are HIV-positive suffer a lot of domestic violence in their homes, and this affects the children in the long run. We have been a role model to such couples in our community and have supported them to accept their status and live a positive and healthy life.
‘We don’t focus on who is at fault. We try to show them how to proceed with their lives.’