“When we first married, we were a very loving couple. We had started life together from scratch; we pooled together our little resources to build a wonderful family together because we were both receiving very little salary from the government.

“I thought we were both very faithful to each other; I had no reason to suspect that my husband had a mistress outside our marriage. In 1999, he was promoted to be a head teacher and I thought that would make us happy even more, but it was never to be.

“He started coming home late, drunk, and at times was very abusive both emotionally and physically. Then it became worse and he would stay away from home for close to one week.

“I was dejected even more when I realised he had a mistress in Isebania township, near the Kenya-Tanzania border. He became sick around 2000 and he later died in 2002 of tuberculosis.

“Immediately after his death, I went for an HIV test because I wanted to be sure. I was shocked when I realised I was positive. I knew I had got the disease from my husband and I made it a resolution to go down with as many men as possible, even very young boys in high school.

“The disease finally put me down, and I was almost dead when a friend of mine took me to hospital, where I was introduced to ART [antiretroviral therapy].

“When I regained strength, what I had done haunted me – I was destroying people’s future and families, yet they never sent my husband out to go and get the disease.

“I resigned from my teaching job, and together with my friend we formed a network of widows to sensitise people on the need to know their status, and even go public about it.

“The past is behind me, but it still haunts me, especially the young boys I took to bed because of a problem within my family that they knew nothing about.

“I pray every day that God will forgive me for what I did. But I also advise the young girls I talk to, if possible, to stay out of marriage because men can be sly.”


*Not her real name

This feature is used with permission from IRIN/PlusNewswww.plusnews.org


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