USAID PEPFAR visit-Immaculee is committed to shed some light on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in her community

Names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

Rosette is scrutinizing her living room. The chairs are in place around the table. The room is cleaned. She opens one curtain to have some light coming into the room. Together with three members from her saving group, Rosette is waiting for the guests to come.

Today is a special day, her household has been chosen among the 600 households supported by the USAID Twiyubake program implemented through African Evangelistic Enterprise (AEE) in Ndera sector, Gasabo district to receive a PEPFAR delegation which is visiting some sites in line with their Country Operational Plan review 2018.

When the guests arrived and after a quick introduction led by Esron Niyonsaba, USAID Orphans and other Vulnerable Children (OVC) Specialist, Rosette thanked USAID Twiyubake as the program helped her to overcome social isolation. In the program’s saving group, she found like-minded and understanding people, in addition the saving group helps her to solve basic needs.

Rosette is HIV positive. Before enrolling in the USAID Twiyubake program she felt desperate about her HIV status but the program taught her to accept living with her HIV status: “Now, I know how critical it is to take the ARTs every day at the same time. This was the first step I overcome but I even went farther and gathered all my courage to reveal to my children that I am HIV positive. Now they ask me every time if I have already taken my ARTs. I started talking to them about HIV prevention and reproductive health which I did not do before.

Once a week, Immaculee, a Case Management Volunteer visits Rosette to follow up on the entire household through the individually established care plan. She was trained by AEE on HIV AIDS and counselling.

“Rosette was in despair when I met her. She could not accept her HIV status. I explained to her that she should not be in despair but instead look at it with a positive mindset. I am a living testimony and gave her my own example. I am HIV positive and my husband is negative. We use a condom although we have 3 children we beard through tight control of my vital load. We are promoting HIV prevention in our daily life and sexuality, explained Immaculee. “Look at her now how she is full of confidence. Even the neighbors are looking up to her. She proudly declared.

Rosette and the members of her saving group are recipients of the program’s conditional household’s grants, to help the poorest households meet basic needs. Their priority is to have a community health insurance for all household members.

Assumpta sitting next to Immaculee added that it as her responsibility to counsel her children on reproductive health and HIV prevention because her husband is HIV positive.

The PEPFAR delegation led by CDC Country Director Dr. Gene MacDonald asked the ladies if their children got tested. “All the children have been tested and are negative”, explained Immaculee.

Immaculee is committed to some put light on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in her community: “ARTs are available and it our responsibility to take the advantage of this support, we need to prevent new infections and teach our children about the epidemic”.

Having been asked about the reaction from the community on her public disclosure of her HIV status, Rosette explained: “Of course, people think that I am crazy to disclose that I am HIV positive, but only when you talk about it, you stop resisting and truly accept living with it.



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