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Champions Speak: Voices from Uganda

A Slideshow of HIV Champions

1. Alice Kiyonga, nurse at Mildmay Center in Uganda, providing HIV and AIDS care

"Most of us thought that people living with HIV did not have the right to have children," says Alice. "Before antiretrovirals were accessible, children were dying. Every time I saw an HIV-positive woman pregnant, I would feel bad."

But after Alice participated in a training by the EngenderHealth-led ACQUIRE Project, her perspective changed. The initiative helps people living with HIV access family planning information and services directly at HIV clinics—allowing them to plan their families and giving them choices they may not have had otherwise. "People living with HIV deserve choice, not chance," explains Alice.

2. Grace Nantege, head peer educator, Lugo AIDS Club

"I was embarrassed about having the virus," shares Grace. But when a friend reached out to her and introduced her to a support group for people living with HIV, Grace was inspired and became the leader. Now she trains other peer educators.

3. Grace and other peer educators

After participating in an ACQUIRE workshop, Grace learned to counsel others and dispel myths and rumors about HIV and family planning. She and the other peer educators know that even if you are HIV-positive, you can have a healthy life, and they weave this message into lively songs and dramas. "We are parents bringing you news about family planning," starts one song.

4. Henry and Irene Sekimpi, clients

Both living with HIV, Henry and Irene receive treatment, as well as contraception, at Mildmay. They have four children and have decided not to have another for the time being. Henry now tells other men in his community to seek family planning. "I have a beautiful wife. I love my wife so much, and I do not want to hurt her," says Henry.

5. Gerald Oching, staff member, The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) Mbale

TASO Mbale, an EngenderHealth partner, offers integrated family planning and HIV services. Gerald enthusiastically offers family planning counseling to his clients and advises other staff to do the same.

6. Barbara Logose, nurse, TASO Mbale

Barbara knows there are many ways to safeguard families and prevent HIV. She is passionate about helping pregnant women living with HIV prevent transmission of the virus to their infants.

"Surely we can reduce transmission. Now many women feel comfortable coming to TASO to protect their newborns from HIV," explains Barbara.

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