Chigurida Badaku: What Happens When an HIV+ Couple Gets No Health Counseling?

In this episode of Chigurida Badaku, RJ Radha speaks with Gulaiya and Kavitha, a couple, about their experience of accessing ART services at the KC General Hospital. The wife and husband run a chicken center and while traveling to get the tablets, close the shop for the day if need be. “The services at the ART centre are good and there is no need to wait for long for the tablets,” says Kavitha.

During Kavitha’s pregnancy, no HIV tests were conducted, which is a major lapse. When close to delivering the baby, she was finally tested for HIV and was informed that she is positive. Following which, her husband was tested as well. “It is our good luck that our baby is HIV negative because this sort of wrong treatment can result in an infection in the baby.”

Gulaiya suffered the consequences of inadequate health services as well. He was referred to Victoria Hospital for treatment but there, he wasn’t provided with the proper information. He assumed that he had to take the tablets only for a short period. “So, I dropped the tablets after two years. Later, I suffered from fever, tiredness, disinterest in my work, and other symptoms.” When he started routine health check-ups, he was told to continue taking the tablets until the end of his life.

Initially, Kavitha wasn’t following an ART regimen as her CD4 count was good, but when the guidelines became clearer, she, too, started taking the ART tablets. The couple has not received any proper counseling which is why they have had to face so many issues.

RJ Radha has helped them receive complete counseling on safe sex habits, ART tablets, nutrition, hygiene, and other essential topics.

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