Charles Waisa's Story

Feb 13 2013

Encouraging people to get regular HIV/AIDS tests and to know their status is an integral part of Cricket Without Boundaries' work in Africa

In October 2012 a schools cricket festival in Laikipia, Kenya, became the first CWB event to have voluntary testing tents present at the side of the pitch. This resulted in an incredible 3200% increase in the number of people – mainly children - getting tested compared to a normal day in a clinic. This was something the local nurses put down to reducing the stigma around testing.

CharlesWaiswaIn Uganda - another CWB project country – Ugandan international cricketer Charles Waiswa has done has led the way in reducing this stigma by getting tested himself for the disease.

Here, in his own words, the 25-year-old opening bowler tells his story.....

"One day I was at home and I wasn't feeling well so I thought that I should go to hospital and have a malaria check-up.

But before I left, my girlfriend asked me if I have ever been tested for HIV. I said 'no' and it really hit me hard. I got scared - even though I didn't think I had HIV it just scared me so much.

We talked about it and she told me how it was nice to test and know your status as a person.

I had to gather some energy before I left for hospital. On my way there so many things running through my head - am I positive or negative? It wasn't easy for me.

When I got to hospital, I first asked for a malaria test which they did and it came out negative but still I wasn't feeling well. I sat down for a while and had a long hard think - then I decided to ask the doctor for an HIV test.

The doctor - who was a lady - had to take me through some counselling first by asking me some questions. How many girlfriends have you had? How many girls have you slept with? Have you ever had unprotected sex? Have you ever tested before? Do you normally sleep around? Are you faithful to your girlfriend? And so many other questions!

When my blood sample was taken to the lab, I was still under counselling. She told me how I should look after myself, no matter the result. But I was so scared.

She told me so many things about HIV, like when you sleep with many girls you can get HIV. She told me the benefit of being faithful to your girlfriend, the importance of using a condom as a mode of protection and avoiding temptations like nightclubs and too much alcohol that can lead you to do something stupid. So much was said to me.

Then the time came to get my results. I was so scared but at the same time confident because I knew that I was clean. The results were read to me and I was negative. I was so happy and the doctor advised me to stay faithful to my girlfriend.

All I can say is that everyone has a right to test and find out their HIV/AIDS status. It feels good when you know that you are free from the epidemic and you can encourage others to do the same.

About The Author

Cricket Without Boundaries (CWB) is a UK registered charity (number 1154576) that uses cricket as a vehicle for delivering health and social messages in sub-Saharan Africa. It is run almost entirely by the dedication and enthusiasm of its volunteers.
Since its formation in 2005 CWB has become one of the world's leading Cricket Development charities. It is dedicated to helping, educating and developing local communities around the world through the spread and growth of cricket.