TAKING THE TEST!!!!!

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There’s always that one thing in all of our Adult lives which we dread the most, but find that we must do.  For me it was a HIV Test!!

It seems to me that here in Nigeria; the test is more dreaded than the disease itself.  We can watch movies and talk-shows, attend stage plays, seminars and workshops that all talk about HIV/AIDS, but when it comes to going to get tested for the virus, the majority of us shrink in fear or just “It’s not my portion” it.

I’m as Nigerian as it gets, so it wasn’t the exception for me.  I’d had a test done a couple of years ago which came out negative, but it was one of those DIY test kits, and I sometimes questioned the veracity of the result it had given.

So there I was, single for the first time since I can remember, with major plans to take over the world on my own, but being mocked by this little demon that raised its ugly little head whenever I had any thoughts about my future.

“You wish” it’ll say, “What makes you think you’re better than all those people that have the virus?” Then in the usual ‘co-incidental’ manner that Life loves to deal its cards, it was at this point that I started to just ‘happen’ to turn on the TV, and guess what the movie would be about….HIV/AIDS.

I open the newspaper, and like the Grim Reaper, a story or news report about it would be right there beckoning to me.  I’m having lunch at a restaurant and what is the couple on the next table idly chatting about?  You guessed right…HIV/AIDS and how they suspect a friend of theirs may be living with the virus.

Then I begin to hear all kinds of gist about how so many people within the Lagos social circle have the virus and are going about their daily lives normally without a trace of the virus showing on any part of them.

Short of getting a restraining order against HIV/AIDS or just accepting that I already have the virus without even getting tested, the next reasonable thing I could do before completely losing my mind was to go get tested.

I made the decision and then conveniently pushed the actual day of testing for another 2 weeks.  Finally, I gathered all my very, very little courage and decided I must go for the test on Thursday.

Thursday came and just before going for the test, I got on my knees and said a little and very simple prayer.

“Dear God, I know you are aware of what’s going on right now.  I am terrified of taking this test because I know that I probably deserve to have the virus.  But Lord, I’m not asking you to help me because of anything I deserve, but because you are a merciful God who gives 2nd chances. Please give me a negative result and I promise I won’t mis-use the rest of my life.  I would love my body, myself and be responsible. Thank You Father, for I know you have heard and answered me.”

With that I drove down to face my greatest fear. I got to the Center, told them what I wanted, paid the fee and had my blood taken.  I panicked a little as I watched some of the ladies who worked there, particularly the one taking my blood sample, look me over. They were checking out my bag, shoes and clothes!!

For a moment, I wondered if just to make my life miserable for looking good, they could switch my blood sample with another person’s own that contained the virus. As I considered that possibility, I decided that there was nothing I could do about it, so I might as well just let it be.

They told me that it would take another hour for the result to be ready, so I decided to go and pamper myself to prepare for whatever eventuality; I went for a pedicure.

A pedicure and a lovely walk in front of the Unilag Waterfront Park later, I came back for my result, feeling at peace with myself, God and the world.

The lady, who had earlier been checking me out, handed me the stapled result with a smirk on her face.  My probing eyes searched her face and the faces of all the others for any tell-tale signs. I got none.  They just chatted amongst themselves as if I didn’t exist. “Oh my gosh, maybe that’s the sign I need!! They are acting as if I don’t exist because in their minds I’ve seized to exist!!” I panicked and looked at the paper in my hands. “I’m holding my own death sentence in my hands!!”

I forced a smile and said good-bye, rushing to the car where I said another little prayer before I opened the result.

“NEGATIVE: As at the time of this test”.

I laughed like a Mad-Woman in the car, which I probably looked like, as a little crowd soon gathered outside and watched.

Follow more of Tari’s adventures on www.tariere.blogspot.com

Tari Ekiyor

Tari Ekiyor

The quirky and humorous musings of a young writer who is determined to have nothing short of the best of everything in spite of the fact that everything seems to be trying to have the best of her. Welcome to S-I-R (STRONG INDEPENDENT & RELEVANT). You can also catch Tari on her blog www.tariere.blogspot.com.

6 comments

  1. Glad you were negative. It's something to celebrate about. It really helps when things like this make young people reflect on their lives and not wasting our future. Nice account!

  2. Tari, i find this article offensive. First you equate HIV to Hell's Invitation. I had no idea that whoever contacted the virus must be the biggest sinner in the world and so deserved to be judged and sentenced to a horrific after life.
    Secondly, you refer to PLWHA as “all those people that have the virus.” How condescending.
    Thirdly, you pray that God shouldn't give you the virus even if you deserve it. So who deserves it? Did you ever hear of a certain Nkosi Johnson or babies born with the virus? Do they deserve it?
    How dare you?

  3. Hello Zak, this article is simply sharing my pesonal fears regarding the HIV virus.
    Does being afraid of something which the media and our society have conditioned me to believe is likeable to a life of personal and societal torment (Hell you may call it), in any anyway state that I disregard those living with the virus?
    Should my compassion or admiration of the courage of those living with the virus demand that I wish I have it just so I can understand better?
    I do understand if you have some sensitivities about the issue, but that does not in any way give you the liberty to attach your own insinuations to my words.
    That I say that I probably deserve to have the virus….how does that state that there are some people I think deserve or dont deserve it??!
    Doesnt that even say more that I mean that no-one deserves it, but I do?!
    So Zack, pls learn to separate your emotion from your judgement…it'll help you see more clearly in EVERYTHING.

  4. Wow! Thanks for sharing your experience, Tari. I submitted myself for “voluntary testing” (though, it was by anything but voluntary as I was COMPELLED to do so after I discovered that my boyfriend who immediately became my ex BTW, had been having unprotected sex with another babe) a few months back. That was my second time of being tested. The first time was incidentally also at The University of Lagos Health Centre. On both occassions, I was SCARED TO DEATH. I made countless vows to God, which I have since broken, sadly. He is however a merciful God who “did not deal with me according to the multitude of my iniquities”. And trust me, I have had many a transgression. Zak, easy on a babe, man! Whatever happened to Freedom of Speech and Expression? Tari here was talking about something very serious…..given the chance, you’d probably have read out her Miranda Rights to her before she posted the article.

  5. Know your status today.
    That friend,sibling, lover, children, colleague,class mate maybe a PLWHA.
    Stop the stigmatization
    I live in a world of hope as I am a PLWHA.

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