By Thomas Odongo
Retired UPDF soldier Major Rubaramira Ruranga tested HIV positive way back in 1989 when he was still serving in the army but he is still living a healthy life to date.
He is one of the few HIV positive Ugandans who are a living proof that HIV infection is not the end of the world.
Speaking during the ‘Box HIV out of Uganda’ workshop organized by Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF) on Monday at Kati Kati Restaurant Lugogo, Maj. Rubaramira highlighted the need for HIV positive persons to live healthy lifestyles if they are to live for long with the virus.
‘’You should avoid new infections. You also need to use a condom. Ignore stigma causing issues and all will be well,’’ Maj. Rubaramira told the gathering.
Whether positive or not, Maj. Rubaramira urged all uncircumcised men to go for Safe Male Circumcision (SMC) to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
He also pledged to be one of the ambassadors of the ‘Box HIV out of Uganda’ campaign alongside other volunteers.
UBF President Moses Muhangi expressed happiness with the initiative and now believes that the campaign can bring an end to the spread of the virus by 2030.
‘’We hope that by 2030 we shall have HIV/AIDS free Uganda and this can be made possible if related forces are combined. We are very happy about this event and in a long run all of us will benefit,’’ Muhangi told the media.
Meanwhile, other notable Ugandans happily living with HIV/AIDS include Canon Gideon Byamugisha (since 1988), Dr. Lydia Mungherera (since 1987), Beatrice Were (since 1991), Nsubuga Supercharger (since 1994) among others.
Most of these persons are still living happily with the virus and have turned out to be sensitizers and also HIV/AIDS peer educators.