(If you have not read the first episode of this story titled “Above all Odds”; kindly do so before reading this episode for better understanding.)
I noticed my mum crying, because of what my dad told her regarding our visit to the hospital, but I did not know what it was and cared not to know either. I was just twelve years old. So, that was how I started taking anti retro-viral drugs without knowing it, I thought they were just drugs for my lump. Anyway the lump disappeared, and the steady cough and catarrh
stopped too. I kept taking the drugs till I gained admission into the University, then I began to visit the hospital on my own, for the drugs. I always met the group counselling session but I thought it was not for me, I never knew I was HIV Positive, I thought I was just there because of the lump. It was in my 3rd year in the University that I became tired of taking the drugs, I asked the doctors when I would stop the drugs and they said they do not know, and then they would always ask me questions about my partner and if I use condoms, I always wondered why they were asking those questions, I did not want to believe that I was HIV positive. I had to summon courage and ask my parents, and after a long moment of silence and in between tears, my mum told me I was positive.
It happened when I was just 2 years old, I was very sick and the doctor said that I needed a blood transfusion to survive. They bought the blood, but they never knew it was infected. The transfusion was done and I became well, but nobody knew I had just been infected with the HIV virus and they never found out till I turned twelve. I actually lived with the virus for ten years without anyone’s knowledge. When I heard all these, I could not even cry, I was shocked. I went to a laboratory to confirm what they had said and after the test, the result came out positive. That was when it dawn on me that I was really an HIV patient and that I have been one for the past 16 years as at that time.
By the grace of God, I chose to keep my virginity right from when I was young till my wedding day and God has been faithful. I have been in courtship with a few persons but I quietly walked away because I do not know how to tell my suitors that I am positive and I have decided that my husband to be, must know my status before getting married to me. My friends accused me of being too selective but they really do not know what I am going through. When the pressure gets too much, I cry to God and I also visit my Counsellor.
At a time, one of the suitors professed a strong affection for me and gave me the impression that he would marry me at all cost, as soon as possible and after a long pressure from him, I disclosed my status to him. At first, he thought I was playing pranks with him but I took him to my Counsellor who conducted HIV Counseling and Testing for both of us. He quietly stopped coming for me after the HIV Counseling and Testing, which is very understandable and I hold no grudge against him rather, I am happy that I satisfied my conscience. Two other suitors are seeking my hand in marriage now and I am learning them. By the grace of God, I know I will do the right thing as I have always done.
This is my story so far and I am glad to share it on Buchi’s Care Blog (Metanoia) to encourage individuals facing similar situation to be strong and do the right thing at all times. When the time comes, I will share the celebrating part of my story and the beautiful life ever after.