Fighting Pediatric AIDS in Uganda - The HIV Test
The second blog in our “Fighting Pediatric AIDS in Uganda” series comes from Bashil and Lehema, a couple from southwestern Uganda who recently visited Kitwe Health Clinic IV in Ntungamo district to receive HIV testing. Read about their decision to get tested and the nerve-wracking experience of waiting for their results, below.
October 7, 2011
We are farmers from a rural area about six kilometers away. We walked an hour and a half to be here. We heard about the clinic day through radio announcements and a car that was driving around with loudspeakers. We wanted to come today to get tested for HIV.
When we arrived we were amazed at the number of people visiting the clinic. We had to wait in line for 30 minutes!
The line of people waiting to visit the clinic. (Photo: James Pursey)
Once inside, the clinic staff took very good care of us. We told health workers we wanted HIV tests and they directed us to tents where we learned about safe sexual practices, nutrition, and other HIV issues. Once we had done this, we registered and received pre-test counseling. We were nervous but were assured by the nurse that testing was the right thing to do.
Bashil and Lehema receive counseling before they are tested for HIV. (Photo: James Pursey)
The test was easy even though I hate needles.
Lehema closes her eyes while her blood is drawn. (Photo: James Pursey)
A health worker draws Bashil's blood to test for HIV. (Photo: James Pursey)
While we waited for our test results, we toured the facility to take a look at all of the other services that the clinic offers. We were surprised to see so many, like circumcision and health education. We were also given lunch and ate it while enjoying music and dancing.
Finally, our test results arrived. We were given a short counseling session before we were told that our results came back negative.
We were so happy!
A happy Lehema holds her baby. (Photo: James Pursey)
After we were given our test results, the health workers recommended we return regularly for testing – something we will try to do now. We also received HIV education to help us continue to stay HIV-free.
After our experience at Kitwe Health Centre IV, I would tell other people, ‘You may be scared but go and get tested right away.’
Now that we have been tested and received all this information, we understand that the first step to taking care of yourself is to know your HIV status.
Read the first blog in the "Fighting AIDS in Uganda" series here.
Sanyu Nkiinzi is a Communications and Outreach Officer for the Foundation, based in Uganda.