Transform the Lives of 13000 HIV-Positive Ugandans

by Alive Medical Services
Transform the Lives of 13000 HIV-Positive Ugandans
Transform the Lives of 13000 HIV-Positive Ugandans
Transform the Lives of 13000 HIV-Positive Ugandans
Transform the Lives of 13000 HIV-Positive Ugandans
Transform the Lives of 13000 HIV-Positive Ugandans
Transform the Lives of 13000 HIV-Positive Ugandans
Transform the Lives of 13000 HIV-Positive Ugandans
Transform the Lives of 13000 HIV-Positive Ugandans

Project Report | Jun 12, 2018
Ruth's Story: Raising an HIV Positive Child

By Dr. Pasquine Ogunsanya | Executive Director

Ruth* was happily married when her husband decided to take a second wife. She was devastated, but even more so when soon after, the same second wife passed away. Ruth went to an outreach in her neighborhood to make sure her health was stable. Unfortunately, after being tested, Ruth found out she was HIV positive.

“I was heartbroken when I found out I was positive,” she said. “Even worse, I was afraid.”

Though Ruth was given medicine, for months, she went through a phase of denial. Her husband refused to get tested for HIV and as a result, his health destabilized. He constantly spoke of someone bewitching him, an attitude that hindered not only the acceptance of his status, but of Ruth’s as well.

By the time Ruth was pregnant with their next child, the couple’s relationship had fallen apart.

“I knew I was HIV positive, but at the same time, I kept avoiding it,” Ruth said. “And when I gave birth to my child, all the doctors were attending to other patients. She didn’t get the [Nevirapine] syrup [after birth].”

Ruth brought her child, a daughter named Maria, to Alive Medical Services soon after she was born. After months of testing, the doctors found Maria HIV-positive – a fact that initially devastated Ruth. But after speaking with the doctors, nurses and other clients at AMS, Ruth gained a motivation she hadn’t had since discovering her own status.

“I felt so terrible,” Ruth said. “I feared the baby wouldn’t last. But after coming to AMS, I realized Maria could survive and live a normal life. The other mothers encouraged me and showed me their children. They looked healthy even though they too were HIV positive. That’s what helped the most.”

Nearly six years later, Ruth and Maria are still clients at AMS. Ruth has separated from her husband and her health has greatly improved. Meanwhile, Maria’s viral load is suppressed, and Ruth says her health has always been stable. Maria, now 5-years-old, is playful, curious, and inquisitive; she loves going to school and playing with other children.

“As long as children take their medicine, they will live a healthy, happy life just like everyone else,” Ruth said.

Your support has helped Maria’s health remain stable - and it has also strengthened AMS' robust maternal and child health care program to decrease mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Since 2013, we haven’t had a single one of our HIV-positive clients give birth to an HIV-positive child, and we work every day to ensure mothers are equipped with the knowledge, care, and resources to keep their families healthy. For those who are raising HIV-positive children, AMS holds regular events – such as Caregiver’s Day, which Ruth and Maria both attended – to increase parents’ abilities to care for their children. Ruth found last year’s Caregiver’s Day to be extremely valuable, she said, as it taught her how to properly disclose to Maria when she reaches an older age.

Thank you for supporting the breadth of our work for our clients. We greatly appreciate your generosity!

* client’s name has been changed to protect her privacy

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Organization Information

Alive Medical Services

Location: Kampala - Uganda
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AMSUganda
Project Leader:
Pasquine Ogunsanya
Founder and Executive Director
Kampala , Uganda

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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