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Most people with HIV

who come out and


Inspiration
tell others, get a big Corner
surprise! They get Hey, Straight Talkers! You
love and comfort. It can win a copy of Purple
stops the whispering Hibiscus, a beautiful novel
and stigma (see page by Nigerian writer
3). It also makes it Chimamanda Adichie. She
easier to get the wrote it when she was
medicine you must just 23. Send a story,
have such as Septrin written like a novel, to PO
and TB treatment. Box 22366 Kampala.
08
4 No.2 March 20
Vol. 1

Disclosure
e
This year th ing
rk
world is ma
25yrs s
wa
since HIVed
discover

sets you free


I
n February 2006, Straight and openly told them that I was brought me drugs always attracted attention.
Talk wrote about Proscovia, a the one. I told them I wanted to let Children would say: 'TASO has come'. This made me
student of Rock High School in other people know that feel uneasy. But now I face no problem like that.
Tororo who is living with HIV. someone can live with HIV like
Do you remember? any other chronic sickness. I take ARVS openly
I used to take my drugs
Since then we kept in contact I got more friends secretly. Sometimes I
with Proscovia and in February After that Straight Talk, would even miss doses.
we decided to see her again. So many people showed me But now that everybody
we travelled to Tororo. care. Even those who did knows I have HIV, I take
not talk to me before started them in the open.
First we met Mr Matanda Silver, greeting me. They do not
her deputy headmaster. He said want to see me lonely. I The teachers also
that there were other students have become popular. I became more interested
with HIV in the school, but freely mix among other in me. They joke with
Proscovia was the only one who students whether at school me a lot. I think they just
had "gone public". or at the hostel. like to make me happy.
All this attention makes
Then we met Proscovia herself, now in No more name me feel loved. Some
S6 and offering HEG and Divinity. She calling would tell me: 'Why
told us that when she disclosed her HIV Before my didn’t you tell us before?" Says Proscovia's friend
status to the world, her life changed story, CDC Juliet: "At times she
forever for the better. Here is her story. staff who Hope for the would talk like has
"A ft er th at future given up, but I would tell
Many people rushed to me after St ra ig ht Ta lk , I got the courage to her that many people
seeing my photograph and I got more love become open after out there have similar
story. They asked me
questions, like:
an d ca n ta ke counseling from
TASO and Centre for
problems."
'Prossy, was that you my ARVs Disease Control
in Straight Talk? op en ly " (CDC). There was a
What made you time when I never imagined talking freely about my
expose yourself HIV status. I worried about death and felt people did
like that? not like me.

At first, I "Disclosure" is when you speak out something In fact, one day in 2005, I took an overdose. I had
found the important to someone. Proscovia disclosed through heard that the Anti Retro Virals are strong and
attention Straight Talk that she had HIV. The consequences thought if I took many, they would kill me faster
too much. were good. She got new friends and more love. She than AIDS. I took 20 tablets when I was supposed
Later, I also feels relieved that she does not have to keep her to take only 3. I was surprised that I did not die.
got HIV status a secret any more. Now that has changed. I am a different person,
courage with hope for the future.

Having HIV does not mean that you are immoral


Dr Stephen Watiti of Mildmay Having HIV does not mean you There are many children with
Centre is a prominent doctor are immoral. Many children HIV who have grown into
working in HIV. He is also living are born with it. Knowing adults. Some have
with HIV himself. Here are his wise your status helps you to realised their dreams!
words. look after yourself well. You
need counseling if you have There are about

I
" urge Straight Talkers, who have lost HIV. Learn how to live with it 100,000 young people
their parents or just their mothers living with HIV in Uganda.
to test for HIV. Every person above Many people have dangerous But only about 10% or
15 can test for HIV without the consent diseases like diabetes. They 10,000 of them are
of their parents or guardians. have accepted them and receiving treatment
If you are below 15, you can go to test learnt to live with them. with ARVs.
at Naguru Teenage Centre in Kampala, Having HIV is like having They all need love
Gulu or Kitgum Youth Centres or any diabetes, except that you and care and not
other place. can transmit it to others. stigma."
2Straight Talk, March 2008

I cannot pass HIV to anyone


For this Straight Talk, we whisper when they saw me. why he had done this to me. But
thank the Paediatric Children used to call me musujja the counselors helped me to
Infectious Diseases Clinic at (fever). accept it.
Mulago. PIDC introduced us
to many young people living In S5, I got herpes zoster (kisipi). I My life
did not know what it was. The head In 2007 I enrolled at PIDC. I was
with HIV. Read the stories of teacher sent me home for very weak and was put on ARVs.
these young people who did treatment. I came back before the I was told ‘This is your life’. Since I
not mind going public. How wounds healed. He was angry with joined PIDC, my life has
brave is that? me, but I told him I wanted to study. changed. I have got a family.
In all the suffering, I never lost the
Our first interview is with love for studies. Life goes on
Princess Nooriat Kisitu, 21, a What hurts me most is that many
student at Makerere Difficult life people knew that I had HIV but
Institute for Social In my S4 vacation, I they never told me.
Development, tried to get a job at a
RVs university library. I
Counselling and "I love my A wanted money to pay
I live my life to the full and do not
let people put me down. I have a
Guidance. d take them an my fees. The lady in- boyfriend. He is HIV positive too.
"I am the first born in a without charge denied me the I cannot pass the virus onto
. My job when I told her I
complaining s
family of four. As a child I someone else. We plan to get
was sickly. In 1999, Dad fell was sickly. married and adopt children who
a
sick. He rarely fell ill, so we boyfriend, h are suffering because of HIV.
were worried. Somehow he HIV." I nearly died
got better, and we thought In 2006, I was rushed To stay healthy, I laugh away the
he would be OK. But he later to Mulago. When I got back to stress and this increases my CD4
died. my senses, a counselor prepared me count. In 2007 my mum fell sick
for an HIV test. I could not believe and she even got TB. She tested
Difficult life at school that I was positive. I was a virgin. I positive. Now she consults me on
At school my sickness was too much cried. the medicines and how they are
for my headteacher who took me taken. I plan to be a child
for an HIV test. But he did not tell I tested again counselor to help other children
me the results. I faced a lot of stigma When I was discharged, I tested the way I have been helped."
from my teachers. They would again. I was still positive. I asked God
................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

My boyfriend is HIV negative... couselling course.


I have a boyfriend who is HIV
negative. He does not know that I
am positive. I have not had sex with
Like other young people, adolescents with HIV fall in love. But they do not him. But I would like to take this
always fall in love with another person with HIV. They may fall in love opportunity to let him know my
with a person who does NOT have the virus. So what should they do? status. I just want to tell him that I
They need to tell their partner that they have HIV. But that is not easy. love him so much. I know it might
Their friend, like anyone entering a relationship, should also seek to be difficult for him but I love him.
know their HIV status. But do they?
We met Irene Namuyiga, 20, at PIDC. She said she wanted to use Straight Youth, when you see nice looking
Talk to tell her boyfriend that she has HIV. Here is her story. people, do not fall on them without
knowing their status. Test before
you commit yourselves to sex."

I
grew in a family of seven. My two stared at them without a word.
brothers and mum died of AIDS. When I asked him the problem, he
My stepmother mistreated me but just kept staring. I grabbed the paper
I thought that was how step mothers a n d saw the results. Dad started
behave. to cry, and I had to
console him. I told him I
When I went to boarding would take my drugs, but
school, we had to climb k e th is he kept crying and died
"I ta to
stairs. I would feel tired. I tun ity of shock two weeks later!
lost weight. My veins oppor
turned blue. tell my Due to PIDC, I am back
d that I on my feet with
The doctor suggested that I boyfrien . " strength. I take my
test for HIV. The results were have HIV drugs and am on a
given to my dad who just YMCA guidance and

Young people with HIV have sexual feelings


Be frank to save your partner
M
y name is Dr Sabrina We help young people with HIV to Do not be lonely. Find fellow youths
Kitaka. I work with be responsible about their own lives to share with. Peer counselling is
adolescents at PIDC. Of and the lives of others. good.
course, young people with HIV
have sexual feelings towards the Through sex, they can re-infect Remember the 6 Hs:
opposite sex. Some are having sex. themselves and infect others. Young • Hope for the future
people at PIDC debated and • Celebrate Happy times like your
We had a situation where a boy, concluded that "HIV should stop birthdays
16, with HIV and an HIV negative with me". • Cope with Hard times
girl of 20 were in love. The boy • The Hand of God in your lives
approached us because the girl I encourage you to have friendship • Your Heritage
wanted sex. but a safe one. Falling in love is • Your Home.
The girl knew that the boy was normal, but it does not mean
positive, but she was still willing to intercourse. Delaying sex even If you have HIV please be
stay in the relationship. In this case when you are above 18 is good for
the boy was frank and was able to you. If you cannot, please use
frank to your boy or
save his partner. condoms. girlfriend.
................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
3 Straight Talk, March 2008
nd
"My girl frie IV.

My parents did not does not h


ave H
o much.
I love her s o
I cannot d

intend to infect me at
anything th "
would hurt
her.

The boys we interviewed at I also visit internet cafés. I like health center. After getting the
PIDC were much shyer than knowing about musicians, their life results, I did not get angry.
the girls. Only one wanted to styles and HIV status. Boy, St
Margaret College, Makerere I have a girlfriend. She is HIV
be public about having HIV. negative. She does not know that I
That is OK. We respect that. have HIV. I do not think it is the
But it also puts a lot of strain Boy 2 right time for me to tell her. I love
on them. Keeping a secret is a her so much, and I have never had
"I lost my mother and sister. We are sex with her. I do not want to do
stress in itself. The boys all now only three: my father, my anything that would cause her to
mentioned stigma. Read the brother and myself. I learnt I had get HIV. Cyprian
article at the bottom of the HIV in 2004. My father took me to a Musisi 17,
page to understand stigma One time a classmate found me at Mukono
and why we need to fight it. the clinic. She told other students
that I have HIV. Most did not
believe her. I faced stigma started on Septrin in 2006. We live
Boy 1 when I was young. I had a with our mother who is also
"My parents died when I was stepmum who did not want infected. Our father died two years
young. In 2005 my uncle me to mix with her children. I ago. The whole village knows we
brought me to PIDC because thought she did not want me have HIV and they do not treat us
I was sickly. I tested HIV to play with girls. any different from other people.
positive.
I am on ARVs. I do not feel We dig to get food and other
I was not surprised. I had bad about them because if I requirements. I am in S2, but my
suspected that my parents do not take them I will die. I sisters are at home due to lack of
died of AIDS. I do not blame want people to know that fees. Cyprian Musisi, 17, Mukono
them. It was not their being positive is not a crime.
intention to infect me. Only HIV does not discriminate. Let
We stigmatise with us have human hearts towards
three friends know my status.
words and body
Di ctionary
No one at home knows except each other. I want to be a lawyer.
Uncle. I fear people will stigmatise language. Stigma Boy, 15, Kampala Hill
me. makes people with Academy
HIV hide their status. One of Enrol: join
ic for children
Right now I have no girlfriend, but I those people could be your Boy 3 Paediatric: clin someone
g
would wish to have one. I would tell next sexual partner. I am the first of three children. Stigma: isolatin HIV
case) has
her that I have HIV. I go to church. We all have HIV. My sisters and I because (in this
en Christian
................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. YMCA: Young M
Association
r a long time
Stare: to look fo ot knowing
Stigma: the biggest challenge in HIV what is go in g on
N
Unconscious: around you

S
tigma is shown in the way we
talk about and treat people,
such as name calling, teasing,
Know your body:
isolating, blaming or neglecting The immune system
them.
The immune system refers to
HIV has stigma because we fear the ability of the body to
infection and death. We may also be defend itself against infection.
ignorant about how HIV is
transmitted. When HIV enters the body, the
Sometimes we wrongly judge those virus infects the CD4, a type of
with HIV as sinners, womanisers or white blood cell. White blood
prostitutes.
cells fight disease.
Stigma creates conditions that fuel
the spread of HIV. It prevents people
from testing or going for PMTCT As HIV multiplies, it destroys
(prevention of mother to child CD4 cells. They become too
transmission). few to fight infection. A healthy
person has between 600 and
S tigma intensifies the suffering of
people living with HIV and their
families. It leads to denial, shame,
800 CD4 cells in every ml of
blood.
loneliness, depression, anger, self-
pity, alcoholism and family quarrels. But when the CD4 count falls
below 200, a person with HIV
People actually die because of
stigma. Deaths from AIDS are starts falling sick. At this point,
preventable with ARVs. But stigma
prevents many people from getting
Straight Talk Quiz! he or she is said to have AIDS
and can be given ARVs to
HIV care like TB treatment or ARVs.
Imagine, a preventable death is not
Club Activity Should you ask? boost the CD4 cells.
When should you tell? If you are in
prevented because of stigma! Discuss as a club. Would you say
a relationship, who should raise the
or do something which hurts
issue of HIV? The person who is HIV
F ear of being identified as having
HIV creates a society where
people are unwilling to learn or
someone just because that
person has HIV?
Imagine you have HIV. How
infected? Or the other person?
Send your true experiences to
disclose their HIV status. They can would you feel if someone PO Box 22366 Kampala and
easily infect other people because treated you in such a way? WIN a
they fear to tell others that they What can you do as a club to T SHIRT. CD4 cells
have HIV. stop HIV stigma in your school?
.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
4 Straight Talk, March 2008
for you. Then your parents can tell in the neighborhood for long. suspect that your friendship can end
his parents. You can also report him But now their relatives want us up in sex. Reflect on how you
to the LCs or police. to end the friendship. Drilega behave with those girls. Respect their

Dear Friendship
We have been friends with girls
R, Monsignor SS,
Richard, families are normally
protective of their girls. They may
families.

What causes itching of the

SYFA
scrotum and anus? LG, S4,
Busolwe Students’ Centre,
Butaleja. This could be a bacterial
skin infection or worms. Bathe at
Boxx 22
O. Bo 3666
2236
P.P. O. least once a day and change your
M P A A L panties. You should also deworm
KK AA M P A L A regularly. If it persistent, visit a health
centre.

Sex demands My friend has a discharge which


When I ask my girlfriend for causes pain around the vagina.
sex, she keeps changing dates. C She is a virgin. Jevena K, 15, S3,
K, S2, 17, Excel HS, Ntungamo Holy Dove Vocational SS
Your girlfriend loves you and does Jevena, girls normally secrete fluids
not want to hurt you. Contain your which naturally clean the vagina,
sexual feelings instead of putting but it should not cause pain. Your
pressure on her. friend needs to see a medical person
for better help. Advise her to avoid
I have a European friend. She sharing personal materials like pants,
asked me to have sex with her basins or towels. This can transmit
for school fees. I do not want to the infections.
do it yet I want to study. My
Entebbe Parents SS St Club: Say no to mistreatment of
parents are forcing me to go in people living with HIV. Let us remember Philly Lutaya’s words: I had sex. Now I have lost
for the sex because of the “Today it is me, tomorrow it is someone else.” weight. Could I have HIV? NB,
sponsorship. JS, Serwanga S3, Busia SS
Lwanga Memorial SS, Kalangala Dear, do not judge yourself. Take an
This is sexual exploitation. You can HIV test to know the truth. Also talk
get HIV, and having sex for material to someone you trust so that you
things can damage you emotionally, can be free from worries.
spiritually and academically. Tell
your parents that you cannot work I am saved. I refuse to join bad
for money that way. Let them find groups and attend fellowship
other means to support you. And everyday but my friends say I
you need a job in the evenings, am stupid. Matsiko E, 18,
during weekends and holidays. Bishop Ruhindi HS, Rukungiri
Good luck. Matsiko, I like your character. Most
young people your age are teased.
I am scared of a guy who Continue with what you decided.
disturbs me when my parents Make friends with people who
send me to buy something. support your positive way of life.
I am a girl of few words and just
run away to avoid his nonsense.
Katusiime S, S3, Namungona Counsellor:
HS Pastor Peter
Katusime, keep it up! If he finds you Mugabi
in an open place, do not run away. Kyambogo
Stand firm and tell him off. Tell your Members of Alito SS ST Club in Lira. They wrote: College
parents that he is making life difficult School
“Abstinence is our motto”

Advise J
My class teacher wants to love me. He told

Advice
me if I refuse, he will go against me and tell
open. I would not abuse her. She
all the teachers that I am not disciplined.
would get embarrassed for abusing
What should I do? J. Masindi HS
me. Saire P, MUK
Send your advice to Straight Talk, P.O. Box
to DP
I had a girlfriend with
I would simply keep to myself and my
other friends. This would give her
time to sort herself out. It would also
help me not to tell her lies. Rachael
22366 Kampala. Best advice win T-Shirts

whom I never had O. Asin, Kampala.


sex. Now this girl is
not happy with me. She writes me
abusive letters. She wants us to resume
Other winners: Twogere Ktheaneawti
the relation-ship but I do not want. We Obonyo Joseph, MUK, Kirabo Nakimbugwe Brenda is
Joanita, Asiatizu Gloria, S6, She says,
are in the same school and I do not
St Club Bishop’s SS, Mukono, ‘Twogere Kaati’ presenter. ty this
know what to do. OP, Soroti SS. ive rsi
Orishaba Bless, Ruhamba SS, “I am 19 and joining un Seguku.
Love is only built on patience not on Ntungamo, Tuheirirwe year. I live with my father in
an d that
threats or abuses. I would love her Shallon, Ruhaama SS I love sharing what I know ati
Ka
as a sister. Kiyemba Davis, 19,
is what I do on Twogere
Kinoni Integrated SS, Masaka Congratulations, program on CB S Sa t: 5:0 0pm,
Buddu
I would call her and humbly inform you all win Beat FM , Sun: 7:30pm, Sat:
her that I would not resume the , Sk yn et
relationship with her. I would be T-shirts FM : Sun 5:00pm Sat:
6:30pm and Kiboga FM
in. ”
6:30pm. Please tune

Menstruation quiz n may not be normal.


Excess pain during menstruatio d of menstrual pain you
STRAIGHT TALK FOUNDATION
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the problems? Share your exp may also win a T-Shirt. Manager: E. Kimuli, Editors: G. Awekofua, M. Akello, D. Agaba,
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