I am afraid she will leave because I am HIV-positive

Thursday January 28 2021
By Kharono Lufafa

I have been dating this girl for two years now. We love each other and plan to settle down next year. Challenge is, I am HIV-positive while she is negative. I had trouble opening up to her about my status but after seeing a counsellor, I managed to tell her the truth. The news was hard on her but she eventually accepted to stick with me. I am happy but worried that with time she will change her mind and leave. Please help. 


Dear anonymous,

Being HIV-positive is not a death sentence as long as you accept and practice adherence to your ARVs. It is also good that you recognised the importance of opening up to your girlfriend about your HIV status. Although one can live long with HIV, a cure has not been found and, therefore, it is still surrounded with a lot of stigma.

Worrying about how your girlfriend will react in the future is not a solution. The best thing is to continue visiting an HIV trained counsellor to give you current information about HIV so that you and your fiancée can make an informed decision. It is advisable for now to stick to taking your medication faithfully to suppress the virus in your body.

It is not possible to tell how your girlfriend will behave in the future. Relationships are built on trust. We also tend to get what we give in a relationship.


Your duty is to play your part rightly by letting her be free to choose to stay with you even when you are HIV positive and she is HIV negative.

It is true that when the virus is suppressed, chances of transmission lower but this does not guarantee that an HIV negative person might not become HIV positive. Therefore, all these risks need to be discussed in the counselling session with your girlfriend before you decide to live together as a married couple. If she decides to leave, then understand that it is normal for a relationship to end since it is not a do or die.

Feel bad about it and move on until you find someone who will accept you as you are. Otherwise, it is only God who is able to tell what one thinks and plans to do in the near future. Other than that, we only do our best by treating people right and only hope for the best without putting our mind to the task of worrying about unknown.

Evelyn Kharono Lufafa, Counselling psychologist

Reader advice

Go for counselling

Patience Natie Nampa . Trust her to keep her promise to you but the first thing you need to do is for both of you to seek professional counselling from a health worker. Once the two of you are made aware of the good and bad in being in such a relationship, then I think she can still decide on what to do.

Be the best man

Sha Nitah. In life you should be prepared for the good and bad as well. She loves you and so she accepted you despite your status. Just continue to be the best man for her. She will stay. Avoid negative thoughts

Alvin Johnson. The counsellor awakened your esteem to something that you later on became open to talk about in your relationship. So, let the comfort not be taken away by the negative thoughts. Continue meeting up with your counsellor often until you heal from the thoughts and worries completely.

Enjoy time with her

Steven Agaba. We live for the moment. Enjoy every minute you spend with her and make it unforgettable.She loves you

Viola Namuli.  I am worried you might leave and even cheat on her. Do you even know what it takes to make such a decision? Be happy and glad and always love, cherish and respect her. She deserves the best.

She needs to learn more

Sylivia Abejja. Go for counselling together. The more she is informed about it the more she will understand that positive living in discordant couples is very possible, you can have children and she can remain negative. Just attend couples’ counselling together.

I suggest you leave her

Richie K. Ludwig. Please leave her. Get someone compatible for you. Right now she is blinded by love and infatuation but soon, reality will set in and she will not stay.

She accepted you

Ivan Waswa. She accepted you and said yes. That means she understands your situation. It is now in your hands to come-up with developmental plans which will guarantee your worthiness as family head. Think beyond your worries.

Love her unconditionally

Samuel Iputo. You do not need to worry about her leaving but instead worry about making her the best queen in the world because she has trusted you at your worst.  It may have been a great battle in her mind but by the time she said yes, it is because she chose you unconditionally.

She made her decision

BenbellaRubaranga Turyamwijuka. You crossed the hardest bridge of them all. I am sure you can handle a pavement. Telling her the truth was the right thing to do. I believe that her staying means she has accepted this truth and still wants to spend the rest of her life with you. Avoid thinking otherwise.