Luciano Bondoso and Arminda Alberto

Luciano Bondoso and Arminda Alberto

Luciano_496v02

We began to follow the advice of Sawa Sawa and the recommendations from the hospital. My wife got pregnant for the third time, the baby was born well and is healthy.

– Luciano

Luciano Bondoso and his wife, Arminda Alberto, didn’t believe it when their HIV tests came back positive. He went to several health facilities, in fact, hoping to get a different diagnosis.

It was only when their second child, a son who is now three, was born infected with HIV that they began to accept their illness. Despite that, they still weren’t very good about taking their antiretroviral treatment (ART) regularly, hating the dizziness they felt while on it.

But then their son became very sick.

While getting ART for the family at the health center, Luciano met a volunteer from Sawa Sawa, a comprehensive program led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs’ HC3 project designed to reduce stigma around HIV and encourage testing and treatment, among men in particular.

Luciano began attending sessions led by the group and learned how vital it was for anyone diagnosed with HIV to stay on their treatment. A facilitator from Sawa Sawa came to Luciano’s house and convinced the couple that HIV is real and that anyone can be diagnosed with it.

“We began to follow the advice of Sawa Sawa and the recommendations from the hospital,” Luciano says. “My wife got pregnant for the third time, the baby was born well and is healthy.”

Says his wife: “I used to think that I could not have children anymore because the second one was born with HIV. But in the sessions, I learned how to avoid transmission of HIV from mother to baby. When I got pregnant, I was not afraid. I followed everything they told me in the hospital. My son was born and can be saved.”

More Stories from the Field