Michael* says “I am negative but my wife found out she was positive. I knew HIV was real but to associate it with my marriage nothing I have ever thought off.”

The news of my wife’s HIV positive status would have destroyed the home we tried to build for the past twelve years. We have never thought of HIV as a threat to our marital relationship and health, until ADVANCE team brought awareness to our church three years ago.

Initially, it looked like one of those myths and deceptions. I could not believe it until I felt it. “When they gave opportunity for free counselling and testing, I reluctantly went forward”, my wife said amidst tears when trying to narrate to me how it all went. I was not in the church that day; but when I reached home, I noticed her state of agitation.

I did my best to calm her and let her put away her anxiety. I told her I will meet the team leader and subject myself to test too. Sincerely, I was also afraid. But to my utmost dismay, I was negative. Could it be possible that I am negative and my wife is positive? It looked like the team leader shared in my bewilderment, for he demanded to take me and my wife to their referral hospital for confirmation test which I obliged.

The test’s result remained the same; so we were counselled and my wife was given some drugs. My other fear was that we had just one child before now. The medical experts told us we should not fear that if we adhere to their counselling, in due time we will have an HIV free child and I will still remain negative. We have strictly adhered to the doctor’s counsel and after three years, we are blessed with a bouncing baby boy.

I am full of thanks to God and ADVANCE because their ‘advance’ into our life was very timely. I and my wife urge ADVANCE to continue in their good work of sensitizing our people because many have not yet been reached.

*Name has been changed to protect identity.