February #56 : Marriage Vows - by Christopher Maletsky

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HIV: Behind The Music

A Star Is Torn

Free Your Mind

Everyday Grace


Marriage Vows

House of Trials

In The Works


Shout Out

Getting Testy

Love Me

Shout Out

The Times, They Are a Changin’

Say What?

Catching Up With?

Never A Dull Momentum

All Aboard The Love Boat


Special Ed

Of Dykes & Data

Dead on Approval

Take the Cake

Dances With Woolf

Sweet Chariot

Heart Beat

Hitting Below The Belt

She’s A Big Girl Now

To Good To Be The Flu

Herb Of The Month

Prevention Suspension

Comfort Zone

Easy as C&E

Shelf Life

2.07.84: Eureka!

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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February 2000

Marriage Vows

by Christopher Maletsky

October 30, 1999—Ultrika Alexandrine Uiras looked as nervous as any bride as she prepared to enter the Evangelic Lutheran Church for her wedding to Hans Kharuchab. But her case of jitters was unique—this bride and groom are the first openly HIV positive couple to tie the knot in this southern Africa country, where an estimated 20 percent of 1.7 million residents have HIV, though only a handful have discussed their status publicly. For the two 30-year-old history-makers, who dubbed their nuptials a “wedding with a difference,” it was a long trip to the altar. Uiras tested positive in 1997, when Kharuchab (her longtime boyfriend) was in prison. After his release, “I thought my family would chase me away when Ultrika told them about our status,” the groom said. But they didn’t, and the highly publicized nuptials drew reps from all major Namibian media outlets, in addition to a documentary-film company. The newlyweds have two children each from earlier relationships and plan to adopt an AIDS orphan, in part to show how Namibians should care for others. “Hans and I decided that we want to be with each other for the rest of our lives,” said the bride. “Why not? Isn’t it everyone’s dream to be married someday?”  

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