December 15, 2011
Domingos, Clara, and their son.
My name is Domingos, and I have been married to my wife Clara for 15 years. We have four beautiful children – two boys and two girls. My wife first discovered she was living with HIV while she was pregnant with our youngest child. The nurse at the clinic counseled Clara about HIV, and recommended that she be tested. When Clara received the test results indicating she was HIV-positive, she immediately began antiretroviral therapy — for her health and the chance for our child to be born free of HIV.
I was already very sick when Clara learned her status. She encouraged me to go to the hospital to be tested, but I refused. My health continued to worsen over the next few months. I finally decided to go to the hospital to get tested, and I soon found out that I was both HIV-positive and infected with tuberculosis. I started treatment immediately and slowly regained my health.
I continue to adhere to my treatment and am now in good health. My wife is also in good health; she follows the clinic’s advice and exclusively breastfeeds our son, who we learned is HIV-negative.
My advice to other men is to not be afraid to go to the hospital to get tested. It is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family.
If you are negative, please take care and protect yourself. If you are positive, don't lose hope. People who have HIV can live a long life with the help of medicine and a positive outlook. Most importantly, always be there for your family to support and love them every day.