- A quiet moment of introspection that evening took him back to an older woman who had employed him at her home the previous year.
- The promise of a sponsorship had turned damp when his ‘hostess’ lost her job and she relocated to her rural home leaving young Kemboi stranded.
- He returned to menial jobs to save money that could sustain him in the big city.
- Do you have feedback on this story? E-mail: [email protected]
“Your testing kit is fake and faulty!” were the first words that 26-year-old Kimutai Kemboi uttered when an HIV test he took ‘to pass time’ turned out positive.
That was two years ago. He walking home one day when met a group of youth counsellors conducting mobile voluntary counselling and testing and one of them asked him to get tested.
He had been confident of a negative result but took the test anyway.
When asked to interpret his results less than ten minutes later, the two lines that meant that he was HIV positive caused a dizzy spell. He assumed it was because he had skipped lunch that day and he walked out of the clinic deaf to the beckons of the counsellor to return.
That night, he wrestled with the dark looking for refined answers on the likely source of his HIV infection.
As the thoughts tumbled through his mind, he resolved to take repeat tests as a confirmation that the previous HIV test was defective.
“It was going to be a long night,” he remembers.
A first, second, third and fourth test the following morning confirmed he was HIV positive.
He sat through the counselling sessions but most of the time he just stared at the ceiling. He was sad, bitter, confused and angry!
WHERE IT ALL STARTED
A quiet moment of introspection that evening took him back to an older woman who had employed him at her home the previous year.
The promise of a sponsorship had turned damp when his ‘hostess’ lost her job and she relocated to her rural home leaving young Kemboi stranded.
He returned to menial jobs to save money that could sustain him in the big city.
“I got infected by an older lady. Just one encounter. I was naive and believed that she would pay for my studies.”
The bitterness rose to taste like bile in his mouth.
“I hated her. I wanted to revenge. How could she destroy my life?
“One thing that disturbed me was that she intentionally infected me. I thought of a way of revenging but with time I forgave her. She died the same year from opportunistic infections.”
For ten months, Kemboi did not share his HIV status with anyone but this secretive live became unbearable.