You can’t afford to live in denial
Posted Wednesday, May 9 2012 at 00:00
They would not listen to his pleas to reconsider, explaining that he had a family that depended on him.
When he got back home, he lied to his family that he had returned to take care of some urgent business and that as soon as he was done, he would go back.
He would leave his parents’ home early in the morning and spend the day visiting one hospital after another, trying to get treatment for his opportunistic infections.
Not once did he inform those who attended to him that he was HIV-positive.
One doctor proposed that Jonnie take an HIV test, but he refused, lying that he had done it the previous week and that it had been negative.
Meanwhile, he was losing weight drastically and was constantly sill. Finally, he admitted to his father that he had been deported because he was sick.
“Unfortunately, I came clean after my parents had sold whatever they could to get me cured so that I could join my family abroad.”
Jonnie never regained his health. By the time he came to KENWA, he was in the last stages of the disease.
Even anti-retrovirals could not save him. A week later, I was informed that he had died.
If you are HIV-positive, you can learn from Jonnie’s story. Denial is not the solution. Accepting your condition and seeking treatment will buy you a long life.
Also, come clean with your loved ones and do not deliberately expose anyone to the virus.
Before you travel abroad, find out what treatment is available in that country. If, for instance, ARVs are not available or too expensive, then you are better off here at home.
You would rather suffer at home, where you are appreciated and will not be treated like a terrorist because of your HIV status.
Even if we do not always choose to be in the difficult situations we find ourselves in, it is important to accept irreversible truths and facts.
Only this way will we be able to move on with our lives.
This is the diary of Asunta Wagura, a mother-of-three who tested HIV-positive 25 years ago. She is the executive director of the Kenya Network of Women with Aids (KENWA). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org