S8:E2 - ‘I survived!’ Conquering HIV and AIDS, TB, Cancer and Meningitis in Uganda

Media 12 Aug 2022

In this thoroughly engaging episode, we hear from Dr.Steven Watiti who works for  Mildmay Uganda, a leading HIV and AIDS service organisation, about living and aging with HIV and AIDS. Steven shares his story of family life, courage, loss, survival, learning, and advocacy. He speaks about the importance of mental health support and social capital when living with a lifelong health condition and calls for others to respond.  

Dr Steven Watiti

Patient representative on Respond-Africa Partnership

After studying Medicine at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, Dr. Watiti, was a medical officer, Rubaga Hospital, Kampala from 1985-1988. He practiced medicine privately from 1988-2004 at Entebbe Road clinic and JOY Medical Centre Ndeeba, Kampala. From 2004, he has been working at Mildmay Uganda, a leading HIV and AIDS service organisation. An HIV activist and ardent advocate for improved and sustainable health for all, Dr. Watiti believes with hindsight that he acquired HIV between 1985 and 1986 while working as a junior medical officer. In 2000, he began ARVs after contracting tuberculosis, cancer (Kaposi’s sarcoma), and meningitis. In 2006, he started his weekly column on HIV in New Vision, Uganda’s leading daily newspaper. His column appears Mondays under the heading: “Towards zero: with Doctor Watiti”. He has published two books on HIV: “HIV and AIDS: 100 Commonly Asked Questions” and “Conquering HIV and AIDS: My personal experience of living with HIV”. Dr Waititi works with the Respond Africa partnership as an expert patient ensuring that patient needs, views and voices are heard and considered and addressed when designing and implementing research projects. 

Twitter: @WatitiStephen 


Dr. Rhona Mijumbi-Deve

Dr. Rhona Mijumbi-Deve is a senior lecturer of public policy at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) and heads the Policy Unit at the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Clinical Research Programme in Blantyre, Malawi. Rhona trained as a medical doctor and later as a Clinical Epidemiologist and Biostatistician, and health policy analyst. She has spent the past decade doing health systems and policy research. Her special interest is in exploring the nexus of evidence, and policy and decision-making processes, especially in low- and middle-income countries. She especially is interested in understanding this in the contexts of emergencies, health security and health diplomacy. 

This is a podcast in the series: Connecting Citizens to Science, which focuses on health research based on equitable partnerships between researchers and communities.