Feb 14, 2020

Through everything. Hope!

Santa getting her baby immunized
Santa getting her baby immunized

In 2012, after a long time of being bedridden and weight loss, Santa (not real name) was referred by a friend to Alive Medical Services(AMS) to get tested for HIV. She decided to come to the clinic just to impress her friend, as she knew her friend was already in care (enrolled on ART) and wasn’t worried about anything concerning HIV, Santa thought she was HIV negative. To her surprise, she tested HIV positive and it was a devastating situation because she had just tested in the previous 6 months and she was confirmed HIV negative.

“A lot of questions were in my mind because by that time I had one child and I was expecting another, so I was wondering who I will leave my children with when I die? How am I going to tell my husband about everything?” She thought discordancy was impossible.

Since she was expecting, she was immediately enrolled in care and started taking antenatal appointments as she was explained to that she could actually have a safe baby if she followed the doctor’s instructions. The situation was tough for her as so many thoughts of taking daily medication on time while you are pregnant, but Santa stood strong while she thought about the life of her children by then and this encouraged her to hold on to that. “After all God knows when I’ll die” She smiled.

In a long time of a discordance relationship, Santa’s spouse goes ahead and shares with one of their family friends how they are living as discordant. She eventually took him away from her. Santa got another phase of stress that almost took her down while she was pregnant again with her third child. She then met Nurse Edith, a nurse at Alive Medical Services in charge of antenatal care during her antenatal appointment. “Nurse Edith got concerned about how a pregnant woman looked weightless and stressed, so I was forced to share the situation. Nurse Edith gave me the best advice any married woman would have loved to hear.” Her advice made her strong that she came to realize she is a normal human being and different scenarios happen to people irrespective of their status.

Today Santa is a mother of 3 children who are HIV negative of whom the third is 4 months and is currently enrolled in the EID/EMTCT section and the first PCR results are negative and she says if she didn’t meet the caring, loving and concerned AMS staff that treats clients very well, maybe she wouldn’t be around today.

Santa thanks to the whole AMS team for not despising any clients, they don’t bark at them and the facility is always clean. “Most of us having nothing much to offer and give in return, tell the team and everyone who plays a role in making a change in our community that we are grateful and thank you a lot.”

Santa engaging a health worker
Santa engaging a health worker
Jan 21, 2020

HIV treatment is free here at last!

Carol at the Victor's club meeting.
Carol at the Victor's club meeting.

In primary 5, young as she was, Carol ( Not real name) a 26-year-old young lady currently residing in Namasuba was taken to the hospital by her aunt as she noticed she was getting sickly after 5 years since the death of her mother. Carol was taken to a clinic in Naguru where she was diagnosed with HIV after a blood test. She was still very young and vulnerable, devasted and hopeless with life. She was started on medication but by that time it was on sale and seemed expensive. Lucky enough, she had sponsors that catered and gave her a helping hand. As time passed, this cost became too high for them to handle so they started looking for an alternative way to support her.

In 2011, one of her sponsors found out about Alive Medical Services and she was transferred there. Not only was AMS offering ARVs, but all services were free of charge including monthly nutrition food provisions that took a load off from the burden of the sponsors. They however, continued to provide her school tuition and upkeep.

“Alive Medical Services was and is still one of a kind, a home away from home I must say. I thought I was the only one but when I met the young people in the Victor’s club, and most of all one of the leaders Nabula Edith Lukoma, I swear my life has never been the same!”

With the support and encouragement from Victor’s club here at AMS, Carol managed to cope, especially with the irritating side effects from the medication like heat all over her body, endless nausea. She persisted to stay on the medication as advised by the health workers and it has paid off. She was trained as a peer educator in psychosocial support, music trainer here at AMS and ever since then, she is proud of sharing her story with the community

Carol is now a mother of two lovely children, a boy and a girl and through our AMS EMTCT services, they are healthy, happy and most of all HIV negative.

She has learnt so much from the facility and touched so many lives in the process.                                                     

“I am so grateful to AMS staff and donors that make this happen, I love my life, my kids and my medication. Sometimes it gets hard, but that’s the circle of life, I believe everyone goes through depressing and stressing times irrespective of their status.”

Since then, Carol has never looked back and is currently breaking boundaries, she is travelling to Nairobi for her new job. She has a plan to travel back every three months to refill her medication.

It’s because of generous partners like you that AMS can help the youth. Your support is critical to ensuring children are born HIV-negative – and you are playing an integral role in halting the spread of HIV, and keeping families safe. For that, we are incredibly grateful. Thank you so very much!

Jan 21, 2020

HIV treatment is free here at last!

Carol at the Victor's club.
Carol at the Victor's club.

In primary 5, young as she was, Carol (not real name) a 26-year-old young lady currently residing in Namasuba was taken to the hospital by her aunt as she noticed she was getting sickly after 5 years since the death of her mother. Carol was taken to a clinic in Naguru where she was diagnosed with HIV after a blood test. She was still very young and vulnerable, devasted and hopeless with life. She was started on medication but by that time it was on sale and seemed expensive. Lucky enough, she had sponsors that catered and gave her a helping hand. As time passed, this cost became too high for them to handle so they started looking for an alternative way to support her.

In 2011, one of her sponsors found out about Alive Medical Services and she was transferred there. Not only was AMS offering ARVs, but all services were free of charge including monthly nutrition food provisions that took a load off from the burden of the sponsors. They however, continued to provide her school tuition and upkeep.

“Alive Medical Services was and is still one of a kind, a home away from home I must say. I thought I was the only one but when I met the young people in the Victor’s club, and most of all one of the leaders Nabula Edith Lukoma, I swear my life has never been the same!”

With the support and encouragement from Victor’s club here at AMS, Carol managed to cope, especially with the irritating side effects from the medication like heat all over her body, endless nausea. She persisted to stay on the medication as advised by the health workers and it has paid off. She was trained as a peer educator in psychosocial support, music trainer here at AMS and ever since then, she is proud of sharing her story with the community

Carol is now a mother of two lovely children, a boy and a girl and through our AMS EMTCT services, they are healthy, happy and most of all HIV negative.

She has learnt so much from the facility and touched so many lives in the process.                                                     

“I am so grateful to AMS staff and donors that make this happen, I love my life, my kids and my medication. Sometimes it gets hard, but that’s the circle of life, I believe everyone goes through depressing and stressing times irrespective of their status.”

Since then, Carol has never looked back and is currently breaking boundaries, she is travelling to Nairobi for her new job. She has a plan to travel back every three months to refill her medication.

It’s because of generous partners like you that AMS can help the youth. Your support is critical to ensuring children are born HIV-negative – and you are playing an integral role in halting the spread of HIV, and keeping families safe. For that, we are incredibly grateful. Thank you so very much!

 
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