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Sunday, May 6, 2012

AN OPEN LETTER TO HIV/AIDS - A True Life Story

*This is a true story.
What I want to know is the reason no cure has been found for you and why millions continue to die from you. Is that you are so formidable or more powerful than the world powers? Or you are a curse from the powers that be to plague mankind?
I also want to know why you took my friend. He did you no wrong, for how could a newborn offend? That night remains forever seared onto my memory.After a long day at play, doing what ten year old do, we went to eat at my house. As we tucked in into the delicious meal, my friend collapsed. He was rushed to the hospital and that day my childhood ended.
It began a year long battle to keep my friend alive. It was one sickness to the next.Tuberculosis today, malaria tomorrow. You even became jaundiced.As we couldn’t go out to play anymore, I watched you as you bravely bore it. Then you began to lose weight, a shadow of the healthy robust child you used to be.It didn’t just stop there, your frame became practically skeletal and you were so weak.
Then your hair began to fall out.They became so curly at first that I told you how I loved your new hair.What I didn’t understand was what was going on.I didn’t understand why you had to be away at different hospitals all over the country for weeks at a time, for what my mum called treatments. What were you being treated for?, I would wonder.
Slowly we began to lose touch, for you became too weak to do anything.Sometimes, we would just watch cartoons together and you would smile silently, too weak to talk.
Then I went away to secondary school.When the holidays came, I was excited .The first news that greeted me at home however was not pleasant.Your mum gently broke the news to me that you had passed on.I broke down in tears as we hugged each other.She was so strong.

Mr HIV/AIDS, why didn’t you just stop there? Did you have to take his mum and his brother too? In essence, you wiped out a whole family. I also learnt today that 70,000 babies are born in Nigeria with you , every year .Thank God you are no more a death sentence, for I met a woman who has lived 29 years with you.
I only wish my friend and his family knew sooner by getting tested.It certainly would have bought them more time…
Please let’s stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. You have probably heard this a million times, but please heed it.
. Get tested- If my friend had been tested earlier, he and his family would still be with us today.
. Only use screened blood in transfusions.This is the way my friend’s mum got infected.She then passed it to her children through breastfeeding.
. Avoid sharing sharp objects such as blades, needles, and clippers.
. Avoid unprotected sex or better still, abstain all together.
If you are living with HIV/AIDS, please stay strong, fill your mind with positivity, for there is no better healer than the mind.Also use your drugs regularly.
As for you Mr HIV/AIDS, I only hope that a cure will be found for you one day.
*This article is dedicated to the memory of my friend and his family
Culled from Opesays

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