My name is Rose, a mother to a son who I prefer to call "Prince Andrew." From the time I was a teen I always dreamt of getting married one day to a man of my own. God answered my prayers and gave me a husband. This made me proud and happy.
After two years in marriage my husband and I decided to go for an HIV test. The results showed that we are differentâ€”a discordant couple. I was so confused because never in my life had I ever thought of having the HIV virus. From this moment, each day that passed the same question echoed I my head: "Where might I have gotten the virus?" To be sure, I took Andrew to also get tested. He turned out to be like me - his mother - he tested positive.
My husband changed. He developed a negative attitude toward my son and me. He turned every conversation that we had into an argument and blame session. He kept on accusing me for being unfaithful, how I had other partners from whom I acquired the virus. The truth is that I do not know where I got the HIV virus and have never been unfaithful to my husband. He married another wife, which makes us two.
My husband turned away from me and I cursed why I was living. After a lot of counseling Andrew and I were put on ARVs [antiretroviral medication]. Andrew made it even worse by continuing to ask me why he was swallowing the tablets. With the little support I had from my husband I felt unprepared to explain to my son what he was suffering from. I told him he was swallowing tablets because he had allergies. This made me live in guilt; I had lied to my son. Since no one can have answers to every question, I turned to the counselors at the Children's AIDS Fund Family Hope Centre in Kampala for help. They advised me to go with my husband for counselingâ€”something he gladly accepts.
I am thankful for what Family Hope Centre has done for me. Not only have they given Andrew and I free ARVs, they have also helped me solve my family problems. The counseling session my husband and I went through taught us how we can still live together though we are a discordant couple. This has today made my husband accept me the way I am and treat me as a wife too. The joy I had because my husband came back to me prepared and gave me the courage to tell Andrew why he swallowed the tablets.
One day Andrew walked into my room and found me taking my ARVs. With his small voice he said, "Mummy, you did not tell me that you also have allergies and that you also swallow tablets like mine." I sat Andrew down at that moment and explained why we swallowed tablets. He understood.
I also thank my husband for his support. Though we are two wives, he makes sure that Andrew and I are happy. He ensures that we do not miss our medication and appointments. When it's time to go see the doctors he takes us to the clinic.
As long as I get my ARVs, which are a source of life to both my son and I, treatment when we feel sick, and counseling, what more should I want? What I wish people understood about me and my experience with HIV is that when you realize that you are positive, you must not get disillusioned but have the hope to move on with your life.