Monday, July 7, 2014

An Open Letter to Women Living With HIV - Be Informed and Take Charge of Your Health

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This is an expansion of very short letter I wrote on a blog to a young lady living with HIV who contracted the disease when she was raped by two strangers at the market.

This vulnerable young woman has recently been raped again by a friend, and then taken advantage of by someone in position of power. She believes she has infected them with the virus and is not very remorseful.

To this young lady I wrote this open letter, and to other women living with HIV who feel vulnerable and yet think like they have an edge to get back at men whom they hate.

I may not fully understand your life since I don't have HIV, but I can imagine that if someone harms me, I may feel good if I think I got my revenge on them in my own way.

BUT! And this is a big but, with HIV, going on a spree to infect others may actually backfire for a woman!

You are exposing yourself to other strains of HIV by having sex with men and not using condoms. If these men happen to have the virus, that will make your own infection worse and hasten the onset of AIDS.

Please TELL anyone that wants to have sex with you that you have HIV, and insist that they use condoms. This is first and foremost for YOUR own health and protection.

Also, if you are not on Anti-Retroviral Therapy to help you remain healthy, please do so NOW. You can live till old age with HIV if you manage it with the right drugs, you can even get married and have negative status and healthy children.

You need to educate yourself about HIV, because while's it's a pity the way you got it, INFORMATION IS POWER, and it is knowledge that will save your life.

Let me say it again. Do not try to revenge on men you hate by having sex with them because it may have no effect on them. But it could make your own HIV disease worse. It is harder for men to get HIV. You sleeping with a man does not automatically mean they contract HIV. BE WISE.

Below is the letter sent in to Laila's blog to which my letter is a response to.

Hey, sorry I can't reveal my identity. I am a girl, am 20yrs old and I am HIV positive. I have been living with this sickness for the past six years. My mum is the only person that knows about it. I contracted the disease when I was raped by two men in Oshodi market.

My main aim of writing now is to share with you guys what happened not quite long. I was raped again by my so called close friend. I begged him to use a condom but he asked me not to worry that he is clean. Little did he know that I was only pleading to save him. After the first round, I sat close to the bed crying but he came up again and raped me for the second time. He even poured on me. I summoned courage and asked him when was the last he check his HIV status, he rolled over to the drawer and brought out his result ALAS he was negative until he raped me.

The other day, I went to a certain so called God fearing man and asked for help but he said he wont assist me until I 'service' him which I did without any remorse knowing fully well that he is now infected.

My own heartbreak is my mum. She has been praying and she thinks I'm no longer positive, little did she know that HIV takes 10 years before it shows.

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