I was diagnosed with HIV 25 years ago

Thursday November 29 2018



Moses Nsubuga

Moses Nsubuga 

By George Katongole

Popularly known as supercharger, a famous radio personality of yesteryears, Moses first knew he had HIV in 1993 but lived in denial for five years until his family decided to take him to their burial ground in Ntenjeru, Kayunga District.
Although his wife was not fully aware of HIV, which she thought was a form of witchcraft, she was concerned it would be transmitted to her.
In 1994, while on kyeyo in UK, ill health prompted him to go for a test which turned out to be HIV positive. His world had ended, he thought but the relief was that his wife was negative as they were a discordant couple. But she left with their three children in protest. He lived what he calls four years of denial between 1994 and 1998 refusing to go for treatment because he did not want anybody to know about his status.
In 1998, he took his first antiretroviral therapy but kept skipping partly because of the high cost, which was at Shs1.3m per month.
But he was caressing trouble as he become drug resistant. In 2000, relatives took him to the village to die. On the way, they bought a coffin for his body.
He was only rescued by his sister Sarah Nansubuga Nyombi, the former Member of Parliament for Ntenjeru North, who had returned from abroad. She enrolled him at Joint Clinical Research Centre (JCRC) where he was switched to second line treatment.
Since then, he has lived his life as an advocate helping fellow HIV positive people learn about the dangers of drug resistance and advantages of early treatment. He started Stigmaless Band, a group of HIV positive children, to be able to fight stigma through music, dance and drama while, fundraising to meet the needs of the needy.
This week, he told a symposium of boxers at Kati Kati Restaurant that due to regular medication, his viral load is now undetectable and his partner for the last 15 years is negative.
But he warned: “Please do not get infected because you do not know what we went through, but if you get infected please do not commit suicide…there is a way.”

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