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HIV/AIDS: The Dreaded Test and Why You Should Get Tested

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I got my results from Medlab today…I had gone into the lab last Thursday and requested for a “fasting blood sugar” and HIV test. This is the third HIV test I have taken in my life and each time I have had several “mini deaths” whilst waiting for the results. I am one of those people whose mind often races to the worst case scenario and I kept thinking “What am I going to do if the result is positive?”, “Will I become an HIV/AIDS activist?”, “Will I blog about being HIV positive“, “I will have to tell men who fancy me that I am HIV positive…which will result in no men fancying me” and on and on and on…

So I open the envelope and “Yes!!! It’s a negative result“. Now you may be wondering why I was so nervous and I will tell you:

  1. There is no such thing as safe sex, there is only safer sex which can be achieved with the use of the female/male condom.
  2. Do you ever get to a stage where you trust your partner enough not to use a condom? You’re using birth control (of some sort) and not bothered about pregnancy?
  3. Does he ever play around before rolling on a condom?
  4. Have you ever discovered that the person you thought you were having “exclusive” sex with has also been sleeping with Ama, Amina and Ayesha?

Okay, those were more questions than statements but hopefully that gives you an inkling into my nervousness. My next partner is going to have to show me a negative HIV result before he gets anywhere near me.

Other thoughts/questions are springing into my mind: Is it the responsibility of HIV positive people to declare their status to partners or should we all be responsible for our own sexual behaviour? Why did I think that I should become an HIV/AIDS advocate if I was positive? Am I not an advocate already, or maybe I need to become a better advocate?

From my basic knowledge on HIV/AIDS I want to share the following tips:

  • It takes at least 3 months for the HIV virus to show on your test results so if you got your HIV negative results today for e.g. all this means is that you were HIV negative on the 8th of March.
  • Most people spreading the virus are those who have not had HIV tests so do not know know their status.
  • It is important to do an HIV test regularly so you know your baseline – if you became positive at a future date, it would be helpful to know the period within which you contracted the virus.
  • Women are more susceptible to HIV.
  • Marriage is a risk factor for women where HIV is concerned.
  • Women bear more of the “costs” associated with HIV – caring for the sick for e.g.

Need I say “Go get tested?”

Your thoughts?

P.S: Of course sex is not the only way to contract HIV

15 COMMENTS

  1. i have never done the HIV test in my life.
    i keep telling BF dat we hsould do it but…he doesnt want to…
    i guess i can go do it by myself but its really scary…
    u have guts i tell u…

    P.S and its those other ways that u can get it that scare me not even the sex.

  2. This issue is so dear to my heart.Thank you Nana!

    I am blessed to have learnt from the mistakes of many so I realized at a young age that in order to be sexually active, you need to be sexually responsible.

    I have a golden rule. We get tested either before or immediately after we have sex the first time.

    A man who is not interested in using a condom does not have my respect and I will not continue the relationship. Why? because that means he does that with EVERYONE else. couple get sexually active regularly(dating or hooking up) they want to stop using condoms. NO NO NO!!!

    If we are dating, we use a combination of condom and some other birth control.. share the responsibility.

    Safe sex is not the sole responsibility of the woman, it is shared. If you both actively take precautions, then you will bear the consequences together. It is sad how little men know about safe sex and how much women allow them not to know.

  3. I was really scared the first time i got the test. I actually cried when they drew the blood 'cos i was so nervous and anxious. Then i had to wait a week for the results. Longest week of my life. The night before i found out, i went through all your questions. Am i going to drop out of school, become an activist? And then when i found out i was clean, whew! Best week of my life. hehe. I think you're not ready to have sex until you can be responsible about it. No condom, no sex. It's about your life!

  4. I get tested every year. Not just for HIV but most of the major STDs as well. The first time was really nerve-wracking but the subsequent times have been relatively calm times.
    I require that all my partners get tested. I am a bit of a germophobe and want to make sure you're clean before we get hot and heavy. Also, most of the time my gfs go on birth control (rare use of condoms) so it's VERY important that we are both clean.
    Get tested every year, folks…and wrap it up!

  5. I've had 2 HIV test myself. The first time was mainly because I was an HIV/AIDS peer counselor, and I felt that if I was telling other people to get tested, I should at least have done so myself. Pretty scary. The second time was after I traveled to Europe. Great health care system, free tests, decided to take the opportunity (esp since its not only transmitted via sex). That too was scary. But I think its better to know, so you can make the necessary adjustments in your life – health wise and with regards to relationships in general (fam, friends, bfs, etc).

  6. i find it pretty funny that HIV/AIDS is making everyone go for a test!

    to start with HIV/AIDS is an affront to the basic tenets of science! it's become one of the myths of this information age thanks to WHO and co!

    and just like everything that ends up getting a good ad on the market getting a good sale, it appears the pharmaceutical lords and the confused leaders have ended up leading the world on this 'strange' path of HIV/AIDs and everyone is itching about getting tested or not.

    to date, the only political leader that got the balls to 'attempt' challenging all the nonsense about HIV/AIDs is Thambo Mbeki but even he got shoved aside by the forces. we must be learning some lessons!

    i don't fret over this at all. i loose no sleep.

    i got tested for HIV without my consent at K'bu hospital and i was so so so mad because i felt being used for some foolish statistics!

    The test itself is not conclusive! the antibodies that are tested for make nonsense of the whole deal.

    so i wont go for no test! well…

    as for condom use, let folks use it if they want, and if you want too, use female condom, and still if you want too don't use any-dom! it must be mutual consent!

    @BrownAangel, lol… keep the respect coming my way! responsibility also comes with deciding not to use condoms!!! no condoms also give safe sex!!! cos on the other hand there are are condoms that could come with all sorts of infections!

    else give them all to me and i would blow air into them like they were real balloons.

    wink @ya'll!
    cheers!

  7. @BBB – Yes it is scary to get tested but in this day and age it is just one of those things that you've got to do. Never mind bf (at least in this regard)

    BrownAngel – Totally feeling you, especially on safeer sex being a shared responsibility

    BSNC – True!

    Laura – At least you have had one before, it appears that quite a significant number of women first get tested when they're pregnant

    Esi – I am glad I'm not the only one was asking herself these q's

    Awansona – I'm clapping because you have tests every year…

    Jemila – Yep, there is something about working directly on HIV/AIDS which makes you more personally responsible where your sex life is concerned

    Novisi – Please explain some more…are you saying HIV/AIDS does not exist?

    Anon – Yes, I'm confused too

  8. @Nana,

    Existence is not the issue! i won't go there! i even wonder whether my consciousness is enough to prove my existence!

    the issue is about how 'unscientific' the HIV/AIDs theory is! to date it has not been proven that there is any linkage between HIV and AIDs! that was what Thambo Mbeki raised his voice against only to be silenced while we still remain without answers!

    the fact that i'm shown 'a skeleton' of a human being lying in a helpless state on a sick bed as a representation of HIV/AIDs is neither here nor there cos the fundamentals have not been addressed.

    then again, the test itself is just a 'roundabout' if you want. the test that is done to determine whether a person has HIV/AIDs or not is self-negating test. it is not conclusive. the anti-bodies that are tested for manifest in all sorts circumstances! for example pregnancy. so really what are they testing for? we should be asking this question!

    meanwhile it is known how toxic the AZT and other "Antiretrovirals" are. These have rather quickened the deaths of poor folks instead of prolonging life as we are told to believe!

    such is the myth of HIV/AIDs while some make fat cash out of the whole game!

    @Anonymous, i hope we join hands to seek answers!

    cheers!

  9. @Novisi, you a right on a few points and sooooooooo wrong on many others.
    @ Everyone, To explain the details of the link between HIV and AIDS plus the nonbenefits/benefits of AZT and other retrovirals would require practically a full Immunology/Immunobiochemistry lecture which honestly might be needed on here to help dispell alot of the misconceptions, but alas, this post is already going to be long enough without that.
    My career is about researching infectious diseases and I am primarily fascinated with diseases that mutate fast. Novisi is right about the test for HIV not being conclusive particularly the primary method which I believe is the one he is referring to, but there is more than one method and some with amazing specificty. People who believe HIV/AIDS is a myth are the primary spreaders sadly. I do believe it is overhyped and ill represented at times, but make no mistake it is real and from a scientific point of view HIV is a genius in its mode of operation. It uses you to destroy yourself. Pretty smart!
    I don’t like needles for the possibility of getting infections from the needles (Not just AIDS) but I don’t know of anywhere in Africa that does the other kind of testing. (My first test was with this other test and I wasn’t even sexually active yet). I am abstinant until marriage now but past relationships I have been in, I not only required a test before we did anything, but I also expect regular checks and we both keep records of the others tests not just tell each other it was negative. A bit neurotic I know.

    There is so much more I could say on this topic, ranging from the scientific to the psychology to the cultural and behavioral issues but I have to end here for now.

  10. BTW the other test I was referring to uses cells taken from the innerlining of your cheeks. Was free at my university then. Thats why I did it. More information can be taken from the cells themselves than from blood.

  11. @GG – Please, please write a post for the blog explaining this. We (I for one) need the education. Please send it to adventuresfrom[at]gmail.com

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