My name is Joseph Odhiambo Omollo and I am 38 years old. I was born in Kisumu Holo in 1973.
I was referred to the HIV clinic by Dr. Amos Otedo since I was doing poorly. However, I had known my HIV status since 2001. I was weak and had lost my job at Kenya Breweries in 1997 because of being sick on and off.
Dr. Otedo was a family friend, so he took me in as his patient. He started treating the opportunistic infections. I got services free of charge, paying for my medicines and transport to Holo. We were seen at the referral clinic. Very few people would come to the clinic and even nurses could be heard murmuring about my health. I came to the HIV clinic supported by the CDC in early 2005, where they started free care but I had to pay for certain lab tests like liver function.
The expenses I used on diseases came to an end. The illness was treated; my productivity was also revived because I gained strength and started farming as my occupation. I stopped depending upon people for survival. Today I can do all things without straining. I used to weigh 42 kgs but today I am 55 kgs. My previous CD4 count was 100cell/ml but presently my CD4 count is 600cell/ml.
I now enjoy free x-ray services and tests which makes me happy. We are not sent outside the hospital to do the tests or to buy drugs since all these are provided at one center. FACES has the capacity to support a big number of HIV-infected people at once. Those who are malnourished are supported. The constant supply of drugs makes the programme score highly. The workers are quick and friendly.
Since we are the pioneers of the clinic, I wish to urge those who are down and in need of care to start HIV care immediately; issues of defaulting are messing us up. We should adhere well.
* Note: All names have been changed