Addressing the intersecting burden of Mental Health and HIV and AIDS among refugees and post conflict populations

Regina Dipio is a 50year old South Sudanese refugee living in Bidi Bidi. Regina and her neighbor friend Rose, were simultaneously raped by a soldier while they were in transit from South Sudan. Upon getting to Uganda, Rose fell sick and opted to test for HIV after which she shared her positive results with Regina urging her to test since they were raped by the same soldier. To their surprise, Regina’s results were negative. She started to test multiple times with the hope that she can be confirmed positive in vain. ‘This whole process clouded me with memories of the rape incident. I lost trust in all the medical facilities I visited because I believed they were lying to me. With five children of my brother to take care of, it was fair I started HIV medication earlier. Since no one understood me, I started to contemplate suicide because I knew I would die soon anyways. One day as I had gone to the base camp for additional medical check-up, I interacted with a Social Worker from TPO Uganda who was talking to people about ‘problems of the mind’. I shared my story and the plans to end my life. The social worker made an appointment to talk to me when others left. She later visited my home several times to see how I was managing to relate with other family members. I learnt that it was possible for two people who have been raped by one person to poses different results. The Social Worker helped me to understand that there are married couples like that too. And that not accepting my status would continue to depress me and affect my commitment to supporting my brother’s children. I started to trust the results I had been receiving health workers’.

Resource type:

Case studies and success stories


TPO Uganda


Key words:

Gender-based violence, Mental health access, Post-conflict trauma, HIV/AIDS




Women, Humanitarian and conflict-afflicted