My name is Joy, I am 32 years old, a mother to a handsome 4 year old boy and HIV positive. I live in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. It all started about 8 years ago when after finishing university on the course of my first job i met an older man who blinded me with material things and in return infected me with the virus. It was later, until about 5 years ago, when on an antenatal (prenatal) visit when I was expecting my only child that I confirmed what I had all along suspected. It was a challenging time for me because without a support group to help me cope with discordance (serodiscordance), we separated with the father of my son. I am a very optimistic person and always try to look at the bright side of life and hope for the best, so accepting my condition was not very difficult. I had self counseled myself by then. The journey though hasn’t been easy because out of emotions we make decisions that affect us greatly. I want to share my experiences with young women like me and let them know they are not alone. When I found out that I had HIV while expecting my son, the only thought that crossed my mind was my unborn baby's health. I put everybody else behind and so I didnt disclose it to anyone, not even the father, because I knew how he would react. Making decisions on my own was not easy but because I knew what was at stake, I did everything in my power to achieve it. I convinced him that I should have a C-section and even later came up with all sorts of reason why I could not breast feed the baby. I even convinced him that we should have protected sex because I didnt want to get pregnant sooner. My sisters, it was then that I realised my strength. He later found out when our son was about 7 months old but I had been able to have an HIV free son and was ready to tell him then. Because of lack of knowledge on (sero)discordance we made rush decisions that we both regret now because we seperated. I know better now and we are trying to put the pieces together, wish me luck! Why Joy wants to be a part of A Girl Like Me: I have always loved to write and am thinking of encouraging girls like me out there. We all have challenges living with HIV and it’s good to share these with others. I have been through a still birth, A miscarriage and a rejection from an HIV-positive partner because i was not giving him a child, but despite all this am still strong and yet hope to have another child someday.
hi Joy. Please continue to live positively and you will be there to watch your handsome son grow into a handsome man
Welcome Joy and thanks for sharing and I wish you lots of happy days with your handsome son and look forward to reading your blogs :)
Thank you for sharing your story and welcome to the blog. You are an amazingly courageous woman and I wish you all the best.
Hi Vickie, thanks for the warm welcome. Am glad am here too.
Welcome. Thanks so much for joining us and sharing your story. All the best to you, Lynn
its good to be a part of strong sisters.
Hi, Joy.. i would love to get in touch with you. Am from Ug, Kampala. I hope this can be possible. I loved your post my dear.
Am glad that i could share just a bit of myself. I would love to get in touch with you too.
You bet i will have happy days with all of your lovely ladies in the journey! Thanks for the welcome.
You are a strong and brave woman I can't wait to meet you and your family. God Bless and keep you.
Elaine, i live each day knowing that with God all things are possible. And i will definitely meet you one day.
Mmakgoshi thanks for that belief. You will not know it but when i hear that i have touched someone's life it makes me even stronger and its usually at times like this that i realize that i have a purpose in this life with this condition of mine. God bless you!
Wow, i love you Joy. I love and admire your positive spirit... its sisters like you who keep us going.. Thanks again for the inspiration.
Your message is touching, thank God that are you gave-ve son. Its important and that give reason to live each day. But all in this we have to trust God that one day the cure will be discovered and we leave unfear lives. God cares for all of us, he is the one who created us and what happens to us is for a reason. Each day I claim Ps 118:17 for my life and I know it will come to pass. I wish we can meet and share more in person. May the Lord with his grace heal you and all others, cause he promised that "He's Lord who heals us" in Exodus. take care for yourself and you handsome boy.