THE STIGMA

My name is Nana. I have no friends and no family. Are you surprised? My family and friends have all abandoned me. No one wants to associate with me. I feel so lonely and I am really lost in this world. I revealed my greatest secret to them but they fled instantly. I needed someone to dab my tears but they made me shed more tears. They have all deserted me and I am left all alone.

It all started when I was 22. I was a student at the University of Nsukka, Nigeria. I was studying Chemical Engineering. I was really intelligent and all my grades were outstanding.
One fateful day, I visited the salon. It was a popular hair salon situated around the University. I just wanted to fix some weavon on my hair. While fixing the weavon, I felt a sharp pierce directly on my skull. It was a mistake and the hairstylist immediately apologized. I counted it as nothing and I allowed her to complete the hair.
A month later, I fell so ill. It all began with a fever. My body was as hot as the sun. I also felt really weak and I had a sore throat. I figured out it could be malaria and so I went to get some antimalarial tablets. I took it but I didn’t notice any change. I waited for a while before going to the hospital but my condition grew worse. So, I had to visit the hospital.
I was so disheartened when I heard the news. When I visited the hospital, I was asked to run some tests. When the results of the tests came out, it turned out that one of them was positive. I tested positive to the deadly virus. I was HIV positive. I cried my eyes out when I heard the news.
I was still a virgin at 22 so how could I have gotten the virus? Well, after some series of lectures by the doctor, I realized that I had gotten it from the hair salon. The needle was unsterilized and it had pierced through my skull. I never knew HIV could truly be transmitted via that way. I thought HIV was just for prostitutes and men who were womanizers.
The first person I broke the news to was my roommate. She felt so sorry for me. But, few days after, I noticed she started avoiding me. She no longer slept in the room. She stopped eating my food and soon, she moved out of the room. In less than a month, the news about my HIV status had spread round my department. I wondered how it did but bad news truly spreads like wildfire.
I travelled home for the second-semester break and I revealed the news to my parents and siblings. They all felt sorry for me. I was taken to the hospital for further consultation and I was given some drugs. The drugs were free, paid for by the Government and Non-governmental organizations. I had to live on drugs all my life. The doctor had assured me that there was hope if I kept on taking my drugs.
I noticed something unusual. My siblings started withdrawing from me. Typically, we were always together in the room talking and laughing. But, everything changed. I was always left alone. I was stigmatized right in my home.
When I got back to school after the break, life became unbearable for me. I was avoided by almost everyone. Some people had said I was an harlot. Some had said some ridiculous things about me but they didn’t know the truth. I was really stigmatized in school too.
Luckily for me, I was able to scale through the University. I did my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and I got a nice job after my service. I never told anyone about my HIV status because of the stigma. I chose to keep it a secret.
Here I am in my room lost in thoughts. Paul, who I had known for about a year had proposed to me. He wants to marry me but he doesn’t know I’m positive to the deadly virus. Doctors say I can have a baby without transmitting the virus. But, what about the stigma? If I tell Paul, he might probably break up with me. If he doesn’t break up with me, his family might finally get to know and the stigma would be reignited. I’m so broken and I need help. What do I do?

“HIV is a virus but Stigma is the deadly disease.”
Written By Isibor Precious, Delta State University, Abraka, NIGERIA.

Stigma

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Ebimobore
Ebimobore
1 year ago

It’s better to say the truth and not hide cause either way it would be revealed. Tell your fiancè and if he really loves you he will stay and you guys should keep it between yourselves.

Precy300
Precy300
Reply to  Ebimobore
1 year ago

That’s true. Thanks

Henry bravo
Henry bravo
1 year ago

Wow, disheartening
It’s better u say the truth,but be ready to withstand anything because it takes courage for anyone to accept and maybe love , nice piece though

Precy300
Precy300
Reply to  Henry bravo
1 year ago

True talk. Thanks

Harris
Harris
1 year ago

Wow!! A very nice and captivating story…I feel for her but she should just relate the news to her boyfriend no matter how bad or unbearable thr news would seem to him. One thing is sure, if he loves her, he would stand by her and never let go, they would fight this till the last ending. HIV is a virus and it can be controlled.

Precy300
Precy300
Reply to  Harris
1 year ago

True talk. Thanks for the advice.

DamDam
DamDam
1 year ago

This story is really touching
I remember during my posting last year for the first time and I was to do PCV count,the capillary tube broke and pierced my finger
The test came out positive for hepatitis B ,but negative for HIV…..thats when my mind got settled.

Precy300
Precy300
Reply to  DamDam
1 year ago

Wow.

DamDam
DamDam
1 year ago

Please tell your fiancé
Don’t keep it a secret.
Sending love❤❤

Precy300
Precy300
Reply to  DamDam
1 year ago

Thanks dear.

haleemah
haleemah
1 year ago

I will advice you to tell him the truth about your health status, if he can cope without stigmatizing you, he will and if he can’t, let him go it will better for the both of you if he knows before legally getting married to you.

Precy300
Precy300
Reply to  haleemah
1 year ago

Thanks. You’ve said well.

Thankz
Thankz
1 year ago

This is true, it happens and I’ve heard stories like this,
It’s normal for people to fear but at the same time they should be caring enough and ask relevant questions about before making dim-witted conclusions.

Precy300
Precy300
Reply to  Thankz
1 year ago

That’s true. Thanks.

enoch1581
enoch1581
1 year ago

I don’t know if this piece is true life story or not but the truth we hardly accept people of that status.. I mean HIV +be patients. Tell them the truth,they will surely ignore you but there is this person that won’t ignore you.

The best is save money for yourself and travel out.you won’t be ignored like the way we do here. We still need to
enlighten our people about this virus

Precy300
Precy300
Reply to  enoch1581
1 year ago

Hmmn. That’s the kind of society we live in.

Ridwan
Ridwan
1 year ago

It’s such a touching story…
But it is better if she let him knows the truth than conceiving it, because one day the truth will be revealed. As Yoruba adage says “Ko ni buru titi koma seku enikan mo ni” which means (No matter how worse the situation is, you will always have one person by your side)