Dear Heart to Heart, I have been dating this woman for nine months. She is of good character and we are deeply in love. Recently, we decided to go for an HIV test, where she tested positive while I was found to be negative. The results were devastating since we had already started planning a future together. She now says I should be understanding and support her as she goes through this difficult time. However, I think the right thing to do is to end the relationship but I am also worried that a breakup might cause depression and other adverse effects on her health. The main thing to understand here is that I still love her very much and would not want to do anything to hurt her. How should I handle this situation? Anonymous
Diana Nanyumba. There are many discordant couples living happily out there and raising beautiful families. HIV does not have to be the end of your lives together if you really are committed to a future together. Seek professional help from counsellors and doctors with a special interest in HIV, you will be surprised.
Irene Amach. HIV stigma will never end for sure. You are speaking like you did not get intimate with her. You too can fall victim of this disease any time. Remember, today is her tomorrow might be you. There are so many options to help the couples out without making them end their relationship. Where there is a will there is a way. If you truly love her, then go for professional medical advice together and find a way forward.
Immanuellah Otim. One thing you should know is you can have a happy relationship as long as she is taking her drugs properly. And it is also possible for you to stay HIV-negative. Talk to professionals who will tell you how this can be done.
Hercules K Hercules. You may remain HIV-negative and even have HIV-negative children even if she is positive. Get advice from a qualified personnel.
Kaleghire Landforces Klt. It could be true that you love each other. My only advice is that you keep helping her in any way possible but avoid any sexual behaviour until you get the necessary counselling and information on how to protect yourself.
Joseph Kintu. Be supportive in all her life struggles. Love is unconditional, but relationships are not. So, end the relationship but always help her in case she needs a shoulder to lean on.
Nazziwa Teopista. It is really challenging but in such a situation, God is the answer. Maybe God has made it known to you to either continue and trust him for possible healing or let go of the relationship and look up to him for another partner? Pray about it.
Ecaat Steven-De Economist. Tough scenario and tough decision to make, but you should not stigmatise her even after ending the relationship, if you decide to do so.
Henry Kiramba. Being HIV-positive does not criminalise her. This is the time she needs your care more for her to live a long life. Good enough you now know each other’s status; a good thing for both of you. We should not welcome only good things in life because the bad sides also give us a chance to learn a lot of things. For example, in this case, you will be able to show her more care than ever before.
Nibs Birungi. First support her during these first stages of treament as she gets used to the drugs and the emotional issues then later, sit her down and dissolve the relationship but keep in touch.
Nana Damalie. The biggest challenge majority face in relationships is that you can decide to be there for someone through thick and thin and they pay you back with hatred and zero appreciation of your patience. So, be careful when choosing to stay with her....think twice and then make a decision.
BenbellaRubaranga Turyamwijuka. This should not scare you. You cannot end a good relationship that is going somewhere on a basis of the woman being HIV-positive. The good thing is that you tested early and there are a number of interventions that can be taken to keep you HIV free while enjoying your marriage to her. Go and talk to doctors.
Phoebe Miriam. Do not gamble with your life. Remain a shoulder for her to cry on and support her as a friend, but do not marry her since it would involve having children, which will complicate your health. Sit her down and talk about the future of the relationship and let her understand the reasons you might decide to end it. However, be the friend she needs right now.
Jane Mpologoma. The most important thing to remember is that you can both live happily and have HIV-free children. This is therefore not the time to throw in the towel especially if you still love her. Seek professional advice and know how to protect each other. It is hard to find someone you connect with and love this much so try everything to maintain the relationship.
Stephen Langa, counsellor at Family Life network
Sit down with her and talk
Dear anonymous, it is understandable when you fall for someone with good character and it always feels bad letting him or her go. If you do not want to make her feel distressed, then you still love her. The two of you need to talk and make decisions.
It is important to note that HIV can be contained and is not a sentence to cancel your relationship. From the look of things, you may not be ready to break up with her. If you want to continue with the relationship and your future plans, you can still go ahead. This is because you can have an HIV negative baby and if you support her to take her medicine well, then you will also be HIV-negative.
If she has opened up to you and think you are ready to support her, then your relatives must be aware of your decision. If you are taking on church marriage, the officiators of your marriage should also be aware.
You will need a one-on-one engagement with a professional counsellor because you do not give as much background information. The counsellor will counsel the two of you so that you make an informed decision.