Kimutai Kemboi, 26, tested positive for HIV in 2015, three years after he had an intimate relationship with his then-Nairobi-based sugar mummy.
He says he was shocked by the discovery because he could not believe that the testing kit, which was placed on the table right before him in January 2015, was representative of his HIV status.
He took three other tests to ascertain that the first was truthful. All the three confirmed what the first kit said – that he was HIV Positive.
“I was shocked. I told myself: ‘I have it. From here, what do I do next?’ I took 4 HIV tests to ascertain my status. I could not believe that was happening to me,” said Mr Kemboi in a candid interview on Citizen Extra Thursday, March 29.
Below is his story as narrated by him:
“I realised I was HIV positive in 2015, though I suspect I was infected in 2012. I had just completed my secondary education, when I made that discovery. My life has never been the same again. Though, currently, I have accepted my situation; I am leading a healthy lifestyle and I am very okay.
“After dropping out of secondary education in 2012, I faced financial difficulties, which left my education hanging on the balance. My family was not well-off. I had to go out there, hustle and raise school fees.
“It happened that a friend of mine, who was working as a watchman for a lady in Donholm, Nairobi, knew of a vacancy the woman was seeking to fill; she wanted a houseboy. My friend introduced me to her, and that was how I got employed by the woman. During our daily interaction, we became so close.
“She promised me that she would fund my education should I accept her sex offer. I was desperate and naïve; I gave in to her demands. I slept with her once; and it was without protection. That was how I acquired HIV. I was 22-years-old then.
“Forgiving the woman, who infected me with HIV, was initially hard. Right now, she is deceased. Though, she infected me intentionally, I forgive her. I always say: ‘May her soul rest in peace’.
“At one point I had even vowed to infect as many women as I could. I told myself: ‘I was not going to die alone’.
“After going through a series of counseling and being convinced there was no need of infecting other people with HIV, I gradually started to have a different of view of HIV.
“That experience did not change my perspective about relationships. Currently, I am not dating as I have chosen to focus on my studies. A relationship, which I had after discovering my HIV status collapsed.
“The reality is everyone has a HIV status. It is either you have it or not. And when you are HIV negative, it is not a guarantee that you will not get infected. So, I urge my fellow youth, who are HIV negative, to observe the three basic principles of leading a HIV-free life: abstain, use protection and stick to one sexual partner if you have to have unprotected sex. If you discover you are HIV positive, that is not the end of life; accept yourself, start your medication and eat well. HIV will never deter you from achieving your dreams.”
Mr Kimutai is a Second Year, second semester Bachelor of Computer Science student at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. A well-wisher is currently footing his school fees.