I never understood the real meaning of the word “hiv”, I have always been ignorant. I thought whoever had hiv was going to die instantly and should be stigmatized, I think there are many people in the world who are as ignorant as I was until I got the best advice from my aunty, who suffered from hiv.
I always stigmatized those who were living with hiv, I thought even a handshake could make one contact hiv.I had a girl in my class named Paula, who had hiv .She was stigmatized by all ,she had no friends to mingle with. I used to be her friend until I discovered she had hiv so I kept her at arms length.
One day , I wasn’t too sound, I didn’t want to go to school, I wanted to rest at home but I was informed by a classmate that we were going to write a test; when I got to school I felt dizzy I had no other option than to rest my head on the desk while waiting for mr umak , the biology teacher to come and give us his test. But I didn’t know when I fell asleep. Ten minutes later I had the voice of Mr Umak in my sleep “Can somebody wake that good for nothing girl up”
I felt a hand on my back tapping me to wake up, and heard my classmates screaming “Good for you, you won’t sleep again you have hiv”
When I raised my head up, and saw everybody ignoring and running away from me. I was surprised I had to ask why they were treating me like a piece of rag. I Was told that it was Paula the girl who had hiv that woke me up.i felt humiliated, I felt a little of Paula’s pain because she showed concern for trying to wake me up but I still felt like using a pistol on her. I sat on my desk crying “I have hiv, I am going to die, I must kill Paula ”
I refused to go home, nobody could make me come home, not even my mother, the only person I could listen to was aunty Rose, my mum’s sister she was very influential she looks so pretty, chubby and had everything money could buy.I admired her alot
“Aunty Rose help me, I think I have hiv now and I am going to die, I have no friends in class again please aunty what should I do”
Aunty Rose spoke . “Hiv is not a death sentence, hiv is not what you think it is, a girl touches you doesn’t mean you are going to contact hiv and you having hiv doesn’t mean you are going to die
Aunty who told you, I cried out .my Anty spoke in a more brave and shocking voice
“Because I have HIV, I have lived for the past thirty years with this, but where am i today
I am one of the richest women on earth, I thought of committing suicide thirty years ago,because I was told by my school vice chancellor that I wasn’t going to live for long: Dear peppy this was how my story began
One day in school ; the vice chancellor brought some medical pratitioners who came to carry out some medical test, on each student. After the test the upper week I was in class learning, the subject we had was a new one “Anatomy”. I was so determined ,I had the dream of becoming a doctor and so I was studying medicine in Badton medical school . I was paying rapt attention to what the lecturer was saying but I was distracted. I was called out by one of my lecturers, she told me the vice chancellor wanted to see me immediately.
When I got to the vice chancellor’s office, I saw the angry looks on the faces of all the lecturers present. The vice chancellor gave me the most shocking news of my life , this was how she said it
“Rose you are asked to leave the school premises in the next thirty minutes , go to your hostel pack all your luggage you are no longer a student of Badton medical school, the test carried on you says you are HIV positive , we don’t want this deadly disease to be spread by you to other students ”
It sounded so incredulous Hiv! Where how? I was confused ,the boy who gave me hiv was so fat, he was my boy friend . I had an unproductive sex with him before the test was carried out.
Then the v.c continued “Not to worry, you may live for more than two weeks but if God is merciful you would love for the next six weeks”
There was a misunderstanding of the word Hiv,I was ignorant, I didn’t understand and the v.c did not explain to me, she only told me I was going to die.
I was stigmatized right from her office. My mum told me “Rose you are going to pay me for all the money I have spent on you”
I cried, even at home not even my siblings came close to me. I had my own room my own spoon and plate. I never got the real definition of HIV, when I had a pimple on my face, I squeezed and scratches it out because I thought it was a symptom of HIV
Two years later, I was still alive and the v.c was proved wrong. I felt like calling her to tell her that I was still alive and ask her when i was going to die. I had to fight for myself, the sickness was not killing me ; but I think the loneliness and stigma was bringing me down. I had to do something useful with my life. Though my hope of becoming a doctor was terminated, but that wasn’t the end of the world. I ventured into business and now I’m one of the richest women in the world and I’m happily married with beautiful children and my two children are both hiv negative.
I smilled at aunty Rose as she completed her story
“Thank you aunty”
She smilled back at me and said
“So now you know alot about hiv, it’s your duty to educate others”
I was so happy, I wasn’t going to stigmatize Paula anymore, I was going to make her my friend. I finally agreed to go home and we both drove off in Aunty Rose Lexus jeep.