Robert Ticharwa Maruta from Uganda has revealed that he resorted to promiscuity in 2000 after the death of his wife, and realised that he had contracted HIV after getting tested in 2008.

“My wife passed on in 2000 and left me 100 percent healthy at 66 years old. However, I failed to be a decent grandfather and started picking township girls, that’s how I got HIV. I even remember from who exactly,” said Sekuru Samba. “Let us be decent when our partners die. God will guide us through. Now, as a grandfather at 84 years old, I am voluntarily footing across Hwedza villages, educating all ages on HIV and AIDS.”

Although he regrets having messed up his life through sexual promiscuity, he welcomes his status because it gives him the opportunity to go round his community to educate the youth on how to live a decent life.

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85-year-old widower narrates how he got HIV, saying it’s a blessing in disguise

“I am HIV positive but I have welcomed it as a blessing in disguise because I am now a tried and tested HIV awareness voluntary advocate. And it feels like I’m serving a purpose,” Ticharwa Maruta added.

He believes if he had led a responsible life after his wife’s demise, he would have been a more respectable grandfather to his grandchildren now.

“Imagine, my mother, Mbuya VaEnia Nyakatanga Dapi and my father Ticharwa Maruta gave birth to me as a healthy Robert in 1934. Then later I got married to my healthy wife, Kirianah Rwizi Kwari from Mhondoro, Rwizi.

“We were blessed with two boys Vincent and Tawanda and four girls Yeukai, Anna and the late girls Norma and Tarisai Maruta. We were all healthy and that is what life should be. If people avoid sex before marriage or use protection when they have sex, we will have a healthy population. That is my message to my community.”