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HIV Testing

Today at work I was just having a quick chat with my colleague when the conversation turned to her 17 year old niece, whom she would like to have the HIV Test, however she is afraid of the results. I had to ask what were her geatest fear. My colleague explained to me a few issues which have left me thinking deeping about some things we take for granted.

If the HIV TEST IS POSITIVE the impact this will have on a teenager:
1.Employment: many employers are reclutante to give jobs to people living with HIV(PLWH). WHY?????????????
2.Friends/Family : Difficulty in breaking the news to friends/family
3. Travel & Health Insurance
4. Society: being rejected or isolated in community setting such as church, college
5. Emotional impact: self blame;Depression,
6.Rejection: not being able to find true love

On the other hand one can look can argue that its better to know the results now and get treatment early than late.

My big question to you all mothers, how would you deal with the issue of HIV and the stigma still attached to it. At work I still find people who believe that HIV is an African problem, and it should not be discussed openly. How are we to educate the young generation about HIV when we can not face the reality of life. People are living to old age and being HIV positve does not stop one from carrying out their interest.

Just wondering what is the next step forward

Comments

Carri Pence's picture

It is sad that a stigma is

It is sad that a stigma is attached to a disease, where it debilitates both the person with the disease and those around him/her. I love that Nelson Mandela didn't hide that his son had and died of AIDs stating that it is a sad issue but we should not turn a blind eye to it.

In friendship,
Carri Pence

olutosin's picture

Developing World

The problem with the developing world is hypocrisy, and it is so sad that it is affecting every facet of our lives.......Once I was sick, last year July and the doctors could not ascertain or diagnose the problem, he was not telling a nurse to do XYZ test for me, because the nurse is from my village, I now used the opportunity to ask her what the meaning of XYZ was, she said that the doctor is insinuating that you may have HIV and it is so called because ABC is the beginning and xyz is the end, I then said so he thought HIV IS MY XYZ, she laughed, that is what we call it here, you are given a positive result at the hospital and you are expected to go and die......
The impression given to us is that it is the end of life, if not for NGO's who knows if every infected persons will be killed....
Thanks for posting this, may be it reminds us to be good to others irrespective of their status....whereas some people will die before those people living with HIV.......and those we are expected to fall down and die any moment from when they receive the doctor's report will live to bury those people stigmatizing them,.....human beings, only God can change us.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

jadefrank's picture

Stigma

Dearest Joyful,

Indeed, talking about it, sharing fears, frustrations, personal experiences, and questions is an empowering way to deal with the issue of HIV/AIDS. The fact that stigma is often a greater cause for pain than the physical symptoms of the virus itself, is proof that we have a long long way to go in educating our children, neighbors and communities on practicing acceptance and respect for our brothers and sisters who are HIV positive. Because it's not a gay problem, an African problem, a neighbor's problem, someone else's problem - it's OUR problem and we need to work together to solve it.

I am so thankful for you dear Joyful. And may I say what a beautiful name you have! I am thankful that you have opened up to our community and asked these questions. Did you know that this week is the 2010 International AIDS Conference in Vienna? Our dear friend Leah Okeyo of Kenya is there now - working with other HIV/AIDS activists to chart a course forward in prevention, treatment, care and support. http://www.aids2010.org/

I encourage you to reach out to Leah, as a woman who is living with HIV and who has dedicated her life to empowering other women and men who are HIV+ in Kenya and worldwide, to live healthy, happy lives. I know that she would be happy to help you with some of your questions.
http://www.worldpulse.com/user/105

I hope that you will continue to use your PulseWire journal to bring up urgent issues like this - as it creates a space to connect, learn and share.

In friendship,
Jade

Joyful's picture

Thank you so much for your

Thank you so much for your very informative email Jade. I will try and get in touch with Leah and just learn abit more on moving forward with HIV. One of doctors from the Department managed to go to the meeting In Vienna. There will be another International Conference being held by BHIVA in Botswana October 2010 I am trying to see if I can lucky to go as I am interested if Health Professions experience the same crisis as in the UK. I will try and keep posting a few issues on the website.

Regards,
Joyful

J.Chigiga

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