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When you stigmatise yourself

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This is the “other narratives” on people living with HIV/AIDS. Read a sister, first! “I am a healthcare professional. And what I have witnessed so far in my line of duty leaves me with little hope for the marital institution.The level of deceit that people perpetuate in marriages makes me wonder why anybody would even get married to someone they can’t afford to open up to-when at their lowest ebb.

All along, the sermon has been ‘de-stigmatization’ of persons living with HIV/AIDS. But I am here to tell you that an average person infected with the virus isn’t going to embrace sincerity easily…not even to a spouse.

Most of them even lie to their healthcare providers!
Do you know that in most cases, their spouses are kept in the dark? And the infected would feel no guilt sleeping with a spouse…even when they are fully aware of their HIV status?Here at the health centre, I have handled tons of cases of persons whose spouses and family have entirely different idea of their health challenges.

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There was the case of a young lady who claimed that her boyfriend infected her, but what was remarkable was the staunch support that her brother (living overseas) gave to her. It was not until much later that we learned that he actually had the impression that she was battling kidney problem.

The brother wept like a baby over the phone. He didn’t understand why she had to lie to him…knowing that he would still stand by her in any circumstances.The one that particularly broke my heart was that of a nursing mother who said she got married at age 19 and her husband is the only man that she’s known all her life.

I gave her the only suggestion that came to mind at the time…to investigate her husband’s health status.She told me that she’s mostly heard him complain about malaria. I still insisted she found her way to his office drawer or something.She took my advice and found a way to gain entry into his office…without his knowledge. True to my suspicion, the evidence was there because I told her what drugs to look out for.

A few of my colleagues eventually became involved in the plan and further findings revealed that the man had been HIV positive for some time and had actually been going for his anti-retroviral in another state.I have noticed uncanny evil intent in a lot of people living with the virus. Almost like they have convinced themselves that whoever crosses paths with them deserves to be infected, too.I am yet to come across a story of an infected person clearly communicating his status to an unsuspecting partner.

Another observation of mine is the needless lies from the women battling the virus…especially the married ones. These women lie, not just about their marital status, but they also give false identities about themselves.o you know that an average person (especially men) living with HIV/AIDS would rather let himself believe that someone poisoned him…even when he is fully aware of his medical diagnosis?

You can’t imagine how many families such ‘poison’ allegations have torn apart, even when the infected knows very well what their medical situation is.When will Nigerians understand that HIV infection is not a death sentence and, therefore, these deceptions are unnecessary? ’’

FROM OBY:
The “de-stigmatisation” messages are loud enough.
And we are adjusting. But you also stigmatise yourself via these deceptions.
What’s more…it is pure EVIL to knowingly infect another. The narratives should begin to aim at tugging at people’s conscience too.

The danger of keeping a spouse in the dark or lying to family about your health issues is that in a bid to cover your tracks, you miss out on holistic medical attention and support system.…as you would often find excuses to even go for your medicals or hide to take your drugs, etc.That, to me, is STRESS. And it kills faster than a lot of diseases.

Anybody living with HIV owes it to God and humanity to ensure that the virus isn’t passed on through them. I would prefer that everyone finds the courage to live their truth but it’s OK to want to keep your status to yourself. Just don’t hurt others knowingly.

Having the urge to hurt another with your status clearly shows an imbalance in one’s mental state.What you should do is SEEK HELP. And not yield to that bitter impulse…no matter how wronged you feel.Also…it is a moral obligation to make efforts to know your status.That way…you get the help you need on time and most importantly-you don’t unknowingly pass “stuff” to anybody.
Remember…it can happen to ANYBODY.
HIV is no death sentence!

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In this article:
Chukwuneta ObyHIV/AIDS
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