He lost his job because of being HIV positive

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It is very painful to be confronted in front of your fellow workers and told that you have lost the job because you are sick and of all disease HIV. This is what happened to Moses Biryomumaisho who lost his teaching job at Molly Integrated School in Nyabushozi in 2002.

My biggest worry was not contracting the disease but how to live with it because I had already tested some time back and found to be negative and had already been counseled should I find out that I was positive.

Being the last born in my family, my elderly mother was very worried to die before I had married and so he wanted me to get a partner.

On the fateful day when I tested positive Aids Information Centre officials had come to Rushere town to carry out mobilization, test and perform to the public about the dangers of contracting HIV/AIDS virus and how to go about it. Having been on the mobilization team I also decided to test.

My results were withheld until evening when the counselor disclosed to me that I was positive.

How  I contracted HIV:

Kiruhura district at the time in the late 1990s and early 2000s was performing poorly in schools. However the school where I was teaching being private performed very well at P7 with 28 out of 29 pupils passing in grade one in 2000 and the headmistress  decided to throw a party when the results came.

On our staff there was a lady who had always been interested in me but I had resisted her approaches but on this day she took advantage of me. Having got drunk I found myself in her house in the morning making it a turning point in my life because she died after two years as we continued to enjoy each other’s company.

By the time she died she had fully blown out symptoms of the AIDS virus.

After testing I joined the post test club that was guided by AIC but people had a bad notion of the club thinking that it was for HIV patients where as not.

This is what the owner of the school used to suspect that I was HIV positive because I had not disclosed it anyone and had no symptoms but looked very healthy.

But after knowing that I had the virus I abandoned school meals and employed a house helpers to cook for me meals that I had been advised to take and ended up employing three in matter of 2 years. This did not auger well with my employer and at the end of 2004 she decided to drop the hammer.

As we were in a staff meeting at the end of the term and year of 2004 she openly told the staff that she had summarily dismissed me as a teacher because she did not want me to infect her pupils and that I had been changing women like shirts. Little did she know that those girls were mere workers. She had sucked me for no apparent reason and since I had nowhere to go I had to return to my ancestral home Kabale.

I was born in Bubare village, Rubanda county in Kabale district in 1974 and finished my studies as a primary teacher in 1998 at Bishop Stuart College Kibingo in Mbarara. Started teaching at Molly Integrated school at the age of 24.

Turning point.

After losing the job I went back home but then life started becoming difficult since I had no job. One day I was asked to give shs 200 for a kg of salt but I couldn’t even produce shs 100.

I became so desperate that my health started deteriorating that I had to be admitted in Mbarara hospital with a severe headache and stayed there for three days.

The signs started coming and this made me more desperate. At that time accessing free drugs was not easy but I kept trying at TASO. One day I was advised by my counselor to join the TASO drama group where I could access free drugs which I did.

Disclosure:

The rest is history, but joining drama became a turning point in my life. I could access the drugs and at the same time earn a living. I was also able to disclose my status. This has helped me to live positively and save those that have contracted the virus and those that have not.

 I met my partner in the drama club and we are a discordant couple and we have a daughter. Disclosure has also helped me to know many people in society, strengthened my resolve for a better tomorrow not only for my family but the outer community too.

Currently I am the chairperson of drama group of reproductive health Uganda (RHU) and also chairperson clients’ council (CC TASO)

Iam involved in the mobilization for family planning for people living with HIV/AIDS to see how to have safe motherhood, produce children without the virus and other related family planning activities.

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71 thoughts on “He lost his job because of being HIV positive

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