By Delphine FRI & Williete N. Akuchu
I learned of my HIV status when I was about 15years old. After a series of protracted illnesses the doctor requested I take an HIV test. My mother hesitated; she couldn’t fathom the possibility of me being HIV positive. I really didn’t understand what was going on. I can recall my mum crying when the results came back that I was HIV positive. As a 15years old boy, I really did not understand the implications. I have had lessons on HIV in school but still could not figure out much.
The ART drugs irritated me. I started feeling dizzy and weak. My passion for football ended at this stage because I didn’t have the strength to play anymore. The drugs affected my education; I had to devise a strategy that permitted me to take my medication on time and study as well.
Some members of my family know about my status and have been very supportive. I lied to my younger sister whenever she asked me why I took medication every day. My girlfriend does not know about my status too. I usually use condom during sex to prevent her from contacting the virus.
A support group of PLHIV greatly helped me to live happily with the virus and build my immune system as well. I am optimistic about life and I believe that HIV cannot stop me from attaining my goals. I hope to get married someday and have a beautiful family.
I wish to advice everyone reading this to clear their fears and take an HIV test. If you love life, take your drugs continuously if diagnosed positive.