A new group of discordant couples was trained by MTAA in October and November 2016. The turn up, 33 couples, was beyond expectancy. Several participants knew they were HIV positive, whereas their partners were not aware of this being afraid of separation.
In ten cases the man was HIV positive, in the other cases it was the women who tend to keep this a secret for their partners fearing serious problems for their marriage. The training teaches the participants that being open and frank makes a world of a difference. Getting closer to each other and reinforcement of the mutual tie instead of separation is the result. The partners are most sensitive for change of behaviour just after they have been tested. After a long period of secrecy by one of the partners this is hard to achieve.
During meetings and discussions many more aspects came up, such as HIV with polygamous partners and the use of drugs that combat Aids (ARVs). Medicines are often furtively taken; in unsafe surroundings people are inclined not to use them, resulting in negative consequences. The fear of being stigmatized is heavily present. MTAA training results in confidence of the participants – they are not the only ones after all. Solidarity, honesty and care are keywords for a good relationship with the partner.