Kenyan pastor hides HIV status from her husband : Here’s Why


A Kenyan pastor has told the press about her decision to hide her HIV-positive status from her husband for many years.

As a young woman it had crossed Lucy Nyawira’s mind that she might have the virus as she had had several partners before her marriage, and a number of people in her family had been also diagnosed with it.

However, she did not go for a test until she became pregnant in 2005, a few years after her marriage.

“I tested positive after tests during a prenatal clinic and I was scared to death,” she said.

The stigma associated with the virus plunged her into depression – and she was unable at first to tell anyone about her situation.

She even breastfed her son, against the advice of doctors – as there is a chance of mother-to-baby transmission.

Ms Nyawira would often listen to sad funeral songs, and her husband suspected something was wrong – but she was just not able to open up.

When her son became ill as a toddler, the whole family was tested for HIV. She was very relieved to discover that her son and husband were negative.

Her husband then knew she had HIV – and she was grateful he agreed to stay in the marriage, yet they did not talk about her diagnosis as a family, it seemed they were all in denial.

However, by this time she had opened up to her church leaders – and this helped her accept her HIV status and influenced her decision to become a pastor herself.

It also emboldened her to eventually open up to her wider family.

With their acceptance, she then went public with her status – and for the last two years has been touring churches and other forums to speak about her experience.

The pastor wants to take away the stigma around HIV, so others do not suffer like she did.