When one learns that they have HIV, several emotions of fear, anxiety, grief, depression, denial and anger surge through them. There is no cure for HIV/Aids, but there are many ways to live positively with the sickness.
It is easier to cope with the HIV when someone knows that they are loved and accepted as they are. Therefore, it is important that HIV patients talk to others who can give them support.
Francis Iyamuremye, a 43-year-old father with eight children who lives at Nyarugenge narrates how he managed to cope up with the fact that he was HIV positive. He has managed to live a strong and healthy life till now.
“When I was confirmed to be HIV positive in 2007, I first told my wife and she accepted the reality. She was also tested and the results were the same. The confidence that I had and acceptance I got is what helped me to overcome the stressful situations of that come with my condition,” he said.
“I took the disease just like any other disease, such as malaria that is common to everyone and I encouraged myself that I would live longer if I constantly went for counseling and sought medical attention,” Iyamuremye said.
It is true that what kills HIV positive patients is not the virus but their negative attitude towards life. As Iyamuremye puts it, “one should be ready to accept their state then follow the counselors and doctors advice and they will live longer.”
Married couples should not blame each other but accept their situation and find ways of living well with it in order to save their family and children if any.
“It is not good to blame one another in a family set up; couples should join hands together and nurture their family well.
When I discovered that I was positive, I formed an association—Tujye Inama. In this organization I found a friend who was positive and was planning to separate with his wife without informing her of his condition, but after I talked to him he changed his mind and they are living happily together,” he said.
The other important element in positive living is that HIV positive people should live life normally as any other individual without HIV. They should find work to do, have friends and participate in various activities just as anybody else.
When Iyamuremye learnt of his state he did not stop working in fact, he worked harder and bought a motorbike that he uses as a source of income.
In essence when one discovers that they are HIV positive let them accept their state, live hopefully, make sure they follow the counselors and doctors advice and eat proper meals.
When all this is said and done, living positively becomes a habit as life gets better.