Lost hope restored

Peter tested positive the year 2015 at the age of 39 years old, he made up his mind to commit suicide and leave behind his two children and three-month pregnant wife, he was confused how he was going to disclose his new status to his family, especially his wife that he loved so much, he knew there was no life again when he thought on how those people who were living positively in his community were being discriminated.

Due to stigma, he moved away from  his family without any notification, and went to visit his sister who stays in Nairobi he never disclosed his status to her either, unfortunately, while there he felt very sick  and her sister rushed him to the nearest private hospital, he was diagnosed to have herpes zoster and was advised on the need to know his status too, he didn’t inform the officer in charge that he was positive instead he allowed him to test him again hopping that maybe things could have changed ,the results were positive, in the presence of his sister, he was advised to accept his new status and start taking drugs.

After one week he came back home, ready to face his family and disclose his new status, he decided to visit his nearest hospital Lung’anyiro model health Centre  in Matungu sub-county for further counselling and also to request them to assist him disclose his status to his wife, there he met Maureen who is a HTC service  provider and also   a Chv volunteering with WADADIA   implementing Global Fund programme, he was counselled  and advised to bring his wife for testing too, the following day he brought his wife for testing, she was tested and the result turned to be positive, they were both taken through post-test counselling session and later they were enrolled at the Comprehensive care unit  and his wife was advised to start ANC clinic, they were also encouraged to join one of the support groups at the facility. Maureen also enrolled them for HCBC services

Life changed since they joined the support group, they met more people who were living positively, looking very healthy, doing different projects and enjoying life like any other person, they were able to learn so many things through monthly health talks supported by global fund through Wadadia, Peter also learned that being positive did not mean that their unborn child will be positive too, they were advised on the need to have safer sex,drug adherence and the importance to disclose their status

Peter had a mission to campaign for zero HIV infections ,zero HIV reinfections and zero opportunistic infections and  with this in mind he reached many people in the community advising them on the need to know their status, and  through his support many people from his community were tested, he later joined them together  and through the support of Maureen they  formed a group,and they called it TUMAINI,and as the name goes they encourage each new member who join them to have hope in life again, the group was registered with the social services department  in the year 2016

The formation of TUMAINI support group under the guidance of WADADIA, has led to reduction of stigma and discrimination amongst members and the community at large, this has encouraged more people who have come out to know their status without fear

He has attracted so many people on the board due to his great work, and has also received great recognition all over,his passion to reach people at house hold level has really touched many and occasionally he is being called upon to give motivational speech to different groups of people ie  during chief barazas meetings. During one of the monthly support group meetings organized by WADADIA, The group was linked to Rural Education and Economic Enhancement programme (REEP), they were trained in horticulture as sustainability strategy, the group ventures into local vegetables, tomatoes and other crops .

Through these he has been able to sustain his family and also pay school fees for their son who is in form one, he has also moved from a grass thatched house to a semi-permanent house, he bought a moto bike which he uses to reach more people in the community.

Currently, peter is also volunteering as a peer educator at Lung’anyiro model health center, this has also resulted to higher number in the CCC especially for new tested clients ,he is also a member of the Community  Health Committee(CHC) for Lung’anyiro Community Unit .He has been nicknamed ‘’Mwalimu wa ukimwi’’ and he feels proud as this basically identifies what he does, his passion to continue the fight against Stigma and Discrimination which if done away with he believes, people will  leave together , work together and walk together.

Today as Peter holds his HIV negative baby girl, he appreciates the support he got from Maureen the CHV  for her continued  guidance  through HCBC services , he thank Global fund through WADADIA for their  support through support group meetings and ANC health talk sessions, and with a smile in his face, he says GOD BLESS YOU.