Sydelle WIllow Smith
Rose Mukayiko, center, talks with two peer mothers who have helped her through very difficult times. Peer mother Negitter Nachipo is at left.
Rose Mukayiko was four months pregnant when she went to ANC and was told she was HIV-positive. “When I was walking home that day, I had a lot of questions on my mind: “‘How am I going to break the news? Show them my medicine? And how are they going to accept the fact that I’ve come with this medicine and how are they going to support me?’”
“It was hard for my husband to accept it. We had a fight and then he finally left for his home village.”
“After I told him about this news, I encouraged him a lot to go for testing, as well. He disagreed with this. So much so that he decided to pack his things and leave the house. But he did not make me stop taking ARVs.” “
“I never thought it could get to this point. I never thought that my husband would leave me because of this situation...I don’t have anywhere else to get financial support now. It depends on me doing the housekeeping work I’m doing now to get money.”
“The peer mothers have been of great encouragement to me. They give me a lot of counseling and information that helps me not worry when I am alone.”
“The very first day that I took my ARVs, I fainted. I was feeling dizzy and sleepy for almost two weeks, every day, all the time. It was so bad, I actually stopped taking ARVs for an entire month. I thought again about my life and the life of my baby. And then I returned to the hospital. I met these two peer mothers. I told them about the side -effects. They encouraged me to keep on taking my treatment because otherwise I was putting my life and the life of my baby at risk.”