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Touching: Discovering That I Was HIV Positive During Pregnancy Changed My Life for the Better

My name is Wilbroda Akuro. I am a 26 year old woman from Nairobi. I am also HIV positive.

At 20, I met my first love and I felt that everything was possible. But things changed when I got pregnant in 2015 and he told me to have an abortion.

I did not understand why – we were in love and I felt we could start this new journey together. Then I discovered that he had secretly married another woman and got her pregnant.

I knew her and she was five months pregnant when I was three months old. I felt so betrayed and hurt – I did not want to have anything to do with him and most of all, I did not want his baby.

I remember sitting in a makeshift clinic where an unqualified doctor asked me three times if I was sure I wanted to end my pregnancy.

The first two times I said yes. But the third time, I was suddenly not so sure. I went home and my boyfriend kicked me out.

My sister accepted me at home but I kept silent about my pregnancy because I knew she would be ashamed. When I was five months pregnant, I visited an antenatal care clinic.

Once again, my life was turned upside down when I discovered that I was HIV positive. I remember telling the nurse to test me five more times. I was so shocked – it could not be my result.

In Kenya, HIV is considered a death sentence; I did not think I lived very long and thought I could infect my unborn baby.

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To save both of us, I decided to have an abortion. Thankfully, the nurse took me to mothers2mothers, a charity that employs HIV positive women in the community as mentor mothers, who support women like me with the advice and help they need. need for health.

Here, I met Rahab, who helped me understand that my diagnosis was not a death sentence. Above all, she told me that I could have an HIV-negative child.

She sat with me for as long as needed and let me cry, while explaining what I had to do to keep my child from becoming infected and to lead a healthy life.

Rahab was healthy, smart, and had four HIV-negative children. I could not believe she was HIV-positive too. She became my confidante, my friend and my sister.

The hardest part of my trip was sharing my status with my family. They did not have much knowledge about HIV and separated the utensils I used at home; I had my own cup, plate and cutlery.

Then came the happiest moment of my life, when my son Giovanni – which means God’s gift – was born HIV-negative.

He was the greatest ray of sunshine and the greatest reward after all my trials. I wanted to help other HIV-positive mothers like myself and I also became a mother mentor.

Now, I teach women so that they can make informed decisions about their sex life, stay healthy and feel understood, accepted and appreciated.

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Written by How Africa

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