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Ask Me Anything about HIV/AIDs and also don't forget to donate the little you have to support my advocacy.

Tugume Stephen Gerald
Jan 11, 2018

Greetings everyone, my name is Stephen from Uganda, East Africa. I dropped out of school 4 year solid years ago. I have an HIV back ground since my parents passed away because of HIV/AIDs since they were less informed about how to live positive. I lost my lovely caring mum in 2009. And when she got critically sick, taken to the hospital and died the very day she got diagnosed that she had HIV/AIDs. That same day doctors took my sample of blood and I too found out I was having the virus. Little did I know that my dad was a victim too. Making matters worse, he refused to take ART medication.

Unfortunately after about 5 year mum had died, dad followed that same path; meanwhile I sticked to adhering to my medication as my doctors and care takers had been advising me to.

I had to seek for information, got involved in all kinds of activities and forum discussions both online through social media and offline in peer health clubs. I found out living HIV positive isn't a much easier task for everyone especially here in Africa because of various challenges I had experienced; feeling stigmatized and discriminated was the story of day during my junior time at school.Fortunately, staying online helped me out after surfing and reading about stories and testimonies about various people living positively.

The more the information I acquired, the higher the inspiration I got to speak out about HIV. I am now doing HIV peer advocacy using my social media platforms. And also providing social media management services for NGOs combatting a next generation free from HIV voluntarily. However, I am experiencing one problem; my phone is broke down, supports less internet speed, has poor camera and low battery duration. I am finding social media blogging and influencing my passion however I have no enough resources. Okey all the resources wouldn't have been a problem if I got an android smart phone. I prefer a gadget costing atleast 200$. I will be glad and appreciate all the support you shall render towards my success as a social change maker in HIV advocacy.

I started a crowd funding campaign to help me collect those funds. Follow the link http://bit.ly/2D9EjH8 to donate the little you have got with you.Let us connect virtually via my Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/tugume.stephengerald Twiter handle @stephenT023.Email me on; tugumestephen237@gmail.com

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Conversation (69)

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What was your first reaction when you found out that you inherited the disease from your parents?

Jan 11, 5:56PM EST0

I blamed myself for been born from them and reached of relaxation. Many thoughts ran in my mind.

Jan 12, 9:23AM EST0

You mentioned that you're a blogger; can you share the link to your blog posts so we could follow you there?

Jan 11, 3:37PM EST0

You can send me a request on Facebook using my Facebook profile link. Alternatively, follow me on Twitter @askwithoutshame and @stephen Regards ;)

Jan 12, 5:49AM EST0

I suppose you take a lot of drugs every day, can you finance that? Does your state help you?

Jan 11, 2:46PM EST0

My set of ART drugs isn't that much having many ART drug types. I take only two tablets once every 24hrs. Yeah a private non profitable organization provides me these drugs.

Jan 12, 5:47AM EST0

What do you wish other people knew about HIV that they currently seem to be getting wrong?

Jan 11, 12:07PM EST0

I wish people especially in Africa knew that HIV is less can not be transmitted through kissing or exchange of saliva. I hope I have answered you? :)

Jan 11, 1:58PM EST0

I wish people especially in Africa knew that HIV is less can not be transmitted through kissing or exchange of saliva. I hope I have answered you? :)

Jan 11, 1:59PM EST0

You mentioned that you're a blogger; can you share the link to your blog posts so we could follow you there?

Jan 11, 11:17AM EST0

I have included a link to my Facebook account in this AMA feel free to connect with me and we share. I also do social media management for the NGO I am volunteering for due to some obstacles I am unable to import the link to that page in this comment. However, you can follow back these twitter accounts respectively @stephenT023 and @askwithoutshame Regards ;)

Jan 11, 1:54PM EST0

Have you had a bad experience at work because you are a person who is suffering from HIV?

Jan 11, 10:43AM EST0

Have you ever been discriminated against at work for being HIV positive?

Jan 11, 9:32AM EST0

I have ever been discriminated not at work but during my time at school; I remember that was an English teacher though she realized her mistake and I had to take it easy because inside me, I believe it wasn't by choice to find myself having the virus

Jan 11, 1:49PM EST0

I really feel inspired that many of you have come out to ask and take part in engaginng with awesome questions on my AMA event. I am learning from each one of you. I argue you to donate towards my cause. I will be very happy for your contributions. Because I have much desire to expand my advocacy work. Follow link http://bit.ly/2D9EjH8

Jan 11, 8:54AM EST0

Are you currently in a relationship?

Jan 11, 8:37AM EST0

Thank you for such an amazing question,

I am not involved in any relationship .

Jan 11, 8:40AM EST0

How to emotionally support someone with HIV?

Jan 11, 8:25AM EST0

Encouraging can emotionally restore hope in someone with HIV.

HIV positive living must believe that HIV is not a death sentence.

Jan 11, 8:38AM EST0

When you found out that you're HIV positive, what first went through your head?

Jan 11, 6:39AM EST0

As a normal individual I a little got traumatized socially since I got worried that i was going to die any time just like my mum. And with the help from my care taker and cousellors I had to regain hope and started on ART medication and adheered it very  well. That is I am able to share my experience with you. Regards

Jan 11, 8:36AM EST0

Have you sought the help of an expert with whom you could talk about your feelings?

Jan 10, 8:06PM EST0

Yeah, I have that is why I am able to express myself freely.

Does that answer your question? :) Please come and ask again

Jan 11, 1:22AM EST0

What do you think is the biggest misconception about living with HIV/AIDS?

Jan 10, 5:31PM EST0

There so many myths and misconception about living with HIV/AIDs; the major is lack of proper information.

I hope that helps? :) Feel free to ask again please!

Jan 11, 1:20AM EST0
Show all 3 replies

What advice do you have for people who are at-risk of contracting or already living with HIV/AIDS?

Jan 10, 3:41PM EST0

I advise people at risk of getting HIV to be cautious with their lives when intendingly exposing themselves to the virus. And for those living with it already should act through adheering to medication very well so as Act as examples so that it can end with them :)

Jan 10, 4:03PM EST0

What do you think the laws get right, and wrong, about HIV?

Jan 11, 9:12AM EST0

Do you have the support and help of other members of your family in your struggle to raise awareness of this disease?

Jan 10, 6:15AM EST0

I only get help from friends and the internet. My family does not help me in this cause. I am living an independ life where I have to scratch for myself to find survival.

Jan 10, 6:36AM EST0

Are there any symptoms that can indicate that I infected with HIV?

Jan 10, 5:41AM EST0

Symptoms can be felt but it can be very hard to know that they are caused by HIV unless one goes for a blood test with medical experts. It is that way because most signs and symptoms of HIV can even be caused by other virus or germs. ;)

Jan 10, 6:33AM EST0

As an advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness, what’s your advice to millennials who are either still exploring their sexuality or currently in their sexual peak?

Jan 10, 12:54AM EST0

I would advise them to be faithful to their sexual partners, use protection whenever they have sexual intercouses and they should as well know their HIV status

Jan 10, 4:02AM EST1
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How would you describe your life now?

Jan 10, 12:39AM EST0

Health wise my life is now better because I am adheering to medication perfectly. So I would like to save other people through using social platforms. Thats why I have reached out to AMA to help me out in my crowd funding campaign for a reliable gadget :)

Jan 10, 4:00AM EST0
Show all 3 replies

I'm not really sure, what's the difference between HIV and AIDS?

Jan 9, 10:54PM EST0

HIV is a virus which affects human immune body system whereas AIDs are a collection of diseases after the human body system has been damaged by HIV. For more information about HIV, I refer you to install ask Without android app via here http://bit.ly/2x9Yh4e Regards ;)

Jan 10, 3:53AM EST0

lets connect via facebook here https://www.facebook.com/tugume.stephengerald or follow me back on twitter @stephenT023 or we can connect via email tugumestephen237@gmail.com :)

Jan 10, 3:57AM EST0

Why don't you get a job, like the rest of us?

Jan 9, 8:52PM EST0

Jobs are no where in my home country. If I got one, I would go for it.

Jan 10, 2:55AM EST0
Show all 3 replies

I prefer a gadget costing atleast 200$.

Really? What's wrong with more affordable gadgets? and why not get something used?

Jan 9, 7:23PM EST0

Yeah sure, it is not a must that I have to get one costing 200 dollars. If I got a cheaper one, I would go for it as well. As long as it has specifications I prefer to help me out my activities. Thank you ;)

Jan 10, 2:58AM EST0

What’s the one thing that you want the world to know and understand about HIV or about people living with HIV?

Jan 9, 7:05PM EST0

That one thing I would like the world to know about HIV; it affects only human beings. And people living with HIV are meant to take ART drugs for life.

Jan 10, 3:02AM EST0

How's life in Uganda?

Jan 9, 5:53PM EST0

Uganda is a peaceful country, hospitable people with lots of adventures ;) To experience Uganda, I would invite you here. We experiece life by testing it

Jan 10, 3:06AM EST0
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You work in an NGO as a volunteer and educator. What kind of experience do you have from your lectures?

Jan 9, 5:13PM EST0

Through this NGO, I am able to provie SRH(Sexual Reproductive Health) services to young people through online platforms; whatsapp, our android app and a toll line. Since I do marketing for this NGO mainly, I can provide freelance marketing services to any other firm ;)

Jan 10, 3:11AM EST0

If you had a million dollars today, what would you do with it?

Jan 9, 4:33PM EST0

;) tasking question here. If I got a million dollars, I could that money to drive a serious cause and bring impact to the community I am living in; Empower fellow young people living with HIV so that they can become change makers through creating employment opportunities to help them sustain themselves and their families because the life they are living is not so easy. Therefore, I would help change their lifestyles that way.

Jan 10, 3:16AM EST0
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Hello Tugume, you should check this AMA, might make some useful connections. How old are you now? Also, what is generally done in Uganda to prevent people getting aids? Is there enough information given from an early age? What could be improved?

Jan 9, 4:31PM EST1

Sure, I will definately make many friends here. i request you to become one those connections if at all you do not mind ;)  You can send me an email here tugumestephen237@gmail.com or we can chat via facebook here https://www.facebook.com/tugume.stephengerald 

To prevent Ugandans people from getting HIV, various NGOs have comeup to spread awareness about it. However, more efforts are still required. One of the NGOs is Ask Without Shame which had an HIV awareness campaign last year and I part of it. You can check out this web site for more info http://bit.ly/2CW4weC or facebook page herehttp://bit.ly/2hA5a8l  Which country are you from? ;)

Jan 10, 3:38AM EST0

How do you plan to use the new android smart phone in your campaign?

Jan 9, 3:57PM EST0

I hope to use my new baby phone to take videos and photos on forums and conferences I shall be attending. Doing freelance marketing for brands and doing all kinds of personal research about HIV :)

Jan 9, 4:09PM EST0

How was life different when your parents were alive and well?

Jan 9, 3:28PM EST0

When my parents were present, I could feel loved especially our mum. She could go work and provide for us. When she died life got different; I had to separate with my brother and start living with my dad. Life even became harder for me when he too died. Right I am performing roles of the head of the family. Life is a total struggle.

Jan 9, 4:03PM EST0
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