Residents of Kinyole zone B in Namanyonyi Sub-county, Mbale District are in grief after one of their own took his own life for testing HIV positive.
According to residents, Moses Bubulo, 38, could not bear living with the virus.
“He said that he could not live with the virus for the last of his life after he had tested positive,” said Muzamiru Magomu, a resident.
Joseph Kisombo, his uncle, said they found the deceased’s body in the bush after he escaped from the house in the wee hours of Monday morning.
“He requested his brother to open for him at around 5am for a short call but he did not come back. After searching for him for some hours, they found he had committed suicide,” Kisombo said.
He said after Bubulo tested HIV positive, they were planning to start him on anti-retroviral treatment.
“We tried to counsel him. We were planning to take him for treatment, only to get the news that he had ended his life in that way,” he said.
The police officers at the scene confirmed the incident.
“He committed suicide. We have handed over the body to the relatives for burial,” said one of the police officers said on condition of anonymity.
Elgon Region Police Spokesperson Mansur Suwedi was not available for a comment as his telephone remains answered.
The Mbale HIV/Aids focal person, Robert Wandwasi, said the cases of people committing suicide after testing HIV positive are a result of stigma in the communities.
“There is still too much stigma and discrimination in the communities against people living with the HIV. The health workers do their part of counselling but also the community need to handle persons living with HIV as part of them instead of isolating and discriminating them,” he said.