I’m a 27-year-old HIV-positive person, a highly motivated leader and an active defender of sexual and reproductive rights (SRR), particularly for people living with HIV. I am a former beneficiary of the “Omoana House” project. Now, at St. Francis Health Care Services (hereafter: St. Francis), an Omoana partner, I hold the position of Youth Coordinator. This position allows me to strategically influence the DSR/HIV programmes for young people in the country. I am also director of the Jinja Network of young people living with HIV/AIDs (JNYPA), a network that promotes meaningful participation of young people living with HIV/AIDs and a stigma-free environment in the Busoga sub-region. Finally, I founded Batabaazi Culture Troop, a community-based cultural information and advocacy organisation on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, using Afro-centric and artistic approaches (music, dance and drama).

I lost all the important people in my life: my father when I was two weeks old, my mother when I was 14, then my grandmother and my uncle in a short space of time. I nearly dropped out of school, I stopped taking my antiretrovirals (treatment for HIV). My life went downhill, with no hope and no one to talk to for advice. I was depressed, but thanks to Omoana House, which is part of the St. Francis partner health care services, I was cared for, rehabilitated and brought back to school. I was able to get a diploma in accountancy and I can’t wait to go further. Today, I’ve created my own family. I have two beautiful children, a daughter and a son.

As a result, the Resilience show – which was due to be performed in Switzerland in November 2023, but had to be cancelled due to visa refusal – was a great way to showcase the kind of resilience I’ve shown along the way. I was, however, happy to be able to share this show in schools in Uganda, to bear witness to my journey and inspire other young people. I would like to thank St. Francis and Omoana for their continued support of young people living with and affected by HIV.

Nyanzi Huzairu,
Resilience performer and former Omoana House beneficiary