James Matovu: "I hope she finds someone who can look past her HIV

Thursday, March 6, 2008

James is a single 30-something executive in the Ugandan capital, Kampala. He recently met a girl he really liked, and told IRIN/PlusNews that although she was “really good people”, he couldn't bring himself to ignore her HIV status.

"She is really pretty, really hot. I had met her about a year before, but we met again on a night out when she was on holiday from her home in the United Kingdom. We started talking about what had happened since we last saw each other, we went to a club and I ended up dropping her home.

"After that meeting we kept in touch - I guess there was an attraction there. We hung out a lot and people started to see us together. There was a rumour that when she was much younger she was in a car crash and contracted HIV through a blood transfusion she was given. But she never brought it up so I never brought it up - we just continued with the friendship.

"I didn't care one way or another about her HIV status; the problem came when she started really falling for me. One night she kissed me - I didn't resist but I had the HIV thing in the back of my mind. I figured if it's in the back of my mind then I might as well bring it up.

"So I asked her about the rumour I had heard. She cried for a while then admitted that it was true. She said HIV had gotten in the way of so many relationships. I remember her saying something really profound like the transfusion she got out of love had also given her HIV, which prevented her from getting and giving love. It was a really sad moment.

"I wish I could look past it, but I can't. I would have been willing to make the relationship sexual but I really couldn't bring myself to get over it. I know all the statistics, that I'm unlikely to get it if I use a condom, that so many people are in relationships where one person has it and another doesn't, but even if it's like only a tiny zero point zero something chance, I'm not willing to risk it. I feel bad about it, but I can't change the way I feel.

"Thankfully, she and I are still good friends - she's back in London and we communicate often. I hope she finds someone who can look past her HIV status to see what a great girl she is. That person just wasn't me."

Source: PlusNews