When did you hear the word “fuck” for the first time? I heard it for the first time in Sunday school when I was an innocent eight-year-old girl (yes, I will start therapy soon).
An impish boy, whom we shall call John, gave someone the middle finger while we were all singing: Jesus loves me this I know. Immediately, a tittle-tattler among us yelled: “Bro. Sammy! John just told someone to fuck off?!!!” So, Bro. Sammy, our long-suffering Sunday school teacher was forced to tell us, albeit shamefacedly, the concise meaning of the word “fuck” and why good Christian children do not use that word. Don’t ask me to tell you what Bro. Sammy said, I can’t disclose it.
Ladies, the question I want to ask you is: “Were you fucked up after he fucked you?” Was your health messed up after you had sex with your lover/ partner/ fling? Were you infected with HIV?
You see, some months ago, I had to answer that question. After consecutively dating a slew of losers (I swear, my girlfriends were fed up with my dating drama), I met my boyfriend whom I love and who treats me like a queen.
After dating for a while, my boyfriend and I agreed that we were going to start giving each other some ‘sugar’. Since our sexual relationship was going to be strictly exclusive, we decided to get tested for HIV. Yikes!!! HIV? You see, I had not exactly been a saint in my past relationships.
I dated Slippery Jack. Anytime I had sex with Slippery Jack, the condom slipped off. Diverse condoms were used but they all slipped off. Finally, I said “what the fuck?” (No pun intended), went on the pill and started having unprotected sex with him. When our relationship ended, the fool admitted to me that he used to surreptitiously take the condoms off during sex and pretend that they had slipped off by themselves.
Then I dated Mr. Sleazy who was married (I was such a fool). I assumed I was his only mistress and since he didn’t like condoms and I was on the pill, you know what happened, right? After all, he looked so respectable and intelligent; he couldn’t possibly be HIV positive, could he? (As I said, I was a fool). Soon, I discovered that I was not his only mistress. Mr. Sleazy regularly banged his female students in his office (what did I expect?). You know how we learnt in sex-ed class that if you sleep with someone, you are sleeping with all the people he has slept with? Well, thanks to Mr. Sleaze, I slept with half of the graduating class of 2013- without protection!
As I thought about my past mistakes, I became too terrified to take the HIV test. What would happen if I tested positive? Would I lose like one hundred pounds within one month, get shingles and die? Would I have to swallow fifty bitter pills daily just to stay alive?
Distressed, I googled “women living with HIV”. That was how I discovered the girl like me blog http://www.girllikeme.org. Its bloggers are women living with HIV around the globe. They are soccer moms, teachers, artists, models and all the cream of society you can think of. They blog about coping with the disease and the drugs they take which ensure that they live healthy lives for a long, long time.
My stereotypes were shattered. These were strong, beautiful, intelligent and dignified women who could have been my aunts and sisters and grandmothers. Several of them had HIV negative husbands and partners who were aware of their HIV status. Some of them had met their partners after being diagnosed with HIV. Their medication decreased their viral load so that they did not infect their partners during sex (they also used condoms). Many of them had children who were healthy and HIV negative. Some of these children were conceived and born after their mothers’ HIV diagnosis.
Through the blog, I made a friend called Mandy. Mandy is an amazing woman who has an adorable son. Despite living with HIV, Mandy is the most positive person I know! We write to each other often and she inspires me so much. Mandy is due to speak at a conference in Washington in July and I am so proud of her! Mandy made me realize that even if my test came out positive; I would still live and live very well too! I took the test and luckily, it came out negative.
The point of this article is: Please get tested for HIV. Doctors recommend that sexually active persons should test every 6 months to 1 year. A once-in-a-lifetime test is just not good enough! There are free testing centers (VCTs) in most government hospitals in Ghana. The earlier you test the better because you would be given medication to prevent the virus from wrecking your body so that you can live a long, healthy, normal life. The number of pills you have to take has reduced drastically over the years. The drugs sometimes have difficult side-effects but your healthcare providers can assist you to manage that.
Y’all can see from the details of my sex life that I have generously supplied that I am the least qualified person to preach you but please protect yourselves. My single sisters, let’s use condoms consistently. You really can’t tell who is infected. Think you can tell? Click here: http://www.posornot.com to play an exciting game. My married friends, statistics claim you are very vulnerable to HIV so please don’t close your mind to this matter. Sadly, if your husband is cheating on you, then you are also sleeping with all those women he’s cheating on you with.
Can we all pledge not to discriminate against persons living with HIV? After all, HIV is a disease just like malaria or diabetes only that it has no known cure. It is only ignorant people who still believe that HIV is a disease for gay people and whores.
Lots of love my darlings and stay safe!
P.S: I apologize to my Reverend, Grandmother and all pure minded souls for repeatedly using ‘fuck’ in this article
 Not her real name