| Aug 27, 2019
Creating hope - Toby's second chance at life
Tuberculosis screening at every point of contact
When one glances at Toby (not real name), they can hardly believe that he has been living with HIV for a while now. Toby, a young man of only 28 years of age first walked through Alive Medical Services (AMS), barely hanging on to life, with negative thoughts of his death.
“I was sickly. I had constant fevers and itchy skin which all become overwhelming and I was forced to go to the hospital for a check-up. A family doctor after analysing all the symptoms advised me to come to AMS. My first visit was on July 2018 and I was diagnosed HIV positive. I was very sad but mostly afraid to die.” Toby recounts.
At AMS, every client is screened for Tuberculosis (TB) since it is a common co-infection with HIV. While at the clinic, Toby was screened and was found presumptive therefore tested for TB where he was confirmed to have it as well. Toby recalled this being the lowest point of his life: “I had given up on life. I just resigned to my fate and waited to die.”
Toby was counselled and encouraged to take his medicine diligently to live a healthy positive life. His medication was to be taken in phases, first the TB medicine then the ARV’s. “I knew I wouldn’t get the support and care I needed from people around me here in the city, so I went back to my hometown in Fort Portal where I was able to rest and receive the care I needed. The good thing is that the doctors were able to give me an ART refill that would last me a month for the start and if I took the drugs well, they would give me longer refills so that I do not have to spend a lot of money on transport,” Toby described the differentiated care offered to him at AMS.
“I knew the effect the news would have on my family, so I ended up withholding the truth by telling them I had a severe chest infection, but I had received treatment for it. However, my brother who is also my best friend is the only one I could trust with this information and to date, he is the only one who knows,” Toby shared. The counsellors at AMS always guide clients through the process of disclosure to loved ones so that they can get maximum care and treatment support from those close to them.
Toby who once walked through AMS doors weighing only 42kgs is now a happy and grateful man weighing 82kgs and is looking forward to what life has in store for him. He hopes to get married one day and make a family of his own. “I can’t say thank you enough to Alive Medical Services for giving me another chance to live. I am glad to tell the world that it is possible to live a healthy positive life,” said Toby.
We speak for numerous clients like Toby who are living healthier and happier lives because of the support that you give to AMS. Every donation you make goes a long way to change a life for the better and we are grateful. Thank you!
*Name and image have been changed to protect the client.