The two beauty pageant winners, both for central and Uganda at large on Thursday made emotional speeches as the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) joined the rest of the world to commemorate World AIDS Day.
Phiona Abero Miss Y+ for Central region in 2021\22 said that she contracted HIV through a partner in 2016.
“At first I didn’t know because it did not reveal at the first testing until the mother and auntie pushed her again to retest and it was positive,” she said
After realizing Abero says that she underwent massive depression, which hindered her academic excellence at University.
“At this point, I did not know what to do next to the extent that I almost committed suicide until I engaged in counseling,” she said
Adding that people like her coming out does not mean they are so proud but gives courage to others.
Abero was not alone.
Rubana Nagai is the Miss Y+ for Uganda and a student at Kyambogo University.
Nagai says that it has been easy for her to come out and disclose her HIV status to the public but understanding and accepting who she is giving her courage which is built over time as a process.
Nagai who is very proud of herself regardless of her status was born positive and knew about her status at the age of 9.
Says that everyone should be there in support of their neighbor in case they find out that they are HIV positive to avoid stigma and give them courage and brevity to live a second life.
Both victims called upon youths to always take caution when it comes to their lives through abstinence, using a condom or being faithful because many tend to ignore issues concerning HIV which has increased the risks of contradicting the infection.
Additionally that they should avoid intoxicants that may contradict the effectiveness of the HIV drugs.
The duo as well called upon people living with HIV to understand and accept who they are to help them always take their drugs on time, avoid infecting others, and also those who are not sure of their statuses to go get tested to take precautions and also avoid transmission.
Held under the theme: Achieve equity to end HIV’’, IUIU joined the rest of the world in the commemoration of world aids day today at the University’s main campus in Mbale.
Nasib Yusuf, the University Assistant Co-ordinator said that nearly 40% of the new HIV is transmitted by people who do not know their statuses.
He says that the national aids trust is committed to stopping the transmission of HIV by securing the rights of the people who are living with the infection.
He added that IUIU as an institution is willing to always welcome students and staff with HIV as long, they match the qualifications without any discrimination since they already have the HIV work policy to protect them.