VIC­TORY OVER HIV

Your can­not as­sume you are HIV+ merely be­cause your part­ner is

Move! - - CONTENTS - By Clement Fana Ntuli

THERE’S a nat­u­ral fear among many peo­ple to go for an HIV test. They are not pre­pared to face re­al­ity about their HIV sta­tus. In the process, they fill their lives with anx­i­ety, fear and un­cer­tainty. They of­ten cre­ate sce­nar­ios based on their ex­pe­ri­ences, try­ing to find an­swers. Among them are; ‘since my part­ner is neg­a­tive, I am neg­a­tive too’, ‘I slept with so and so who passed on be­cause of HIVre­lated op­por­tunis­tic in­fec­tions and that means I am pos­i­tive too’ or ‘I am de­vel­op­ing these symp­toms does it mean I am pos­i­tive?’ The truth is, you are do­ing this the wrong way.

DO NOT DIAGNOSE YOUR­SELF

My part­ner’s sta­tus – Many peo­ple as­sume that their part­ner’s HIV pos­i­tive sta­tus au­to­mat­i­cally means that they are HIV pos­i­tive too. Some men even check their preg­nant part­ners just to falsely de­ter­mine their HIV sta­tus. Each per­son has their own sta­tus.

Even if you have had un­pro­tected sex with your part­ner, do not au­to­mat­i­cally as­sume that you are also HIV pos­i­tive.

You might have slept with some­one with an un­de­tectable vi­ral load and be lucky to have not con­tracted HIV.

Do not as­sume your HIV sta­tus based on your part­ner’s sta­tus. This does not mean you mustn’t be ig­no­rant of your part­ner’s HIV pos­i­tive sta­tus.

Signs and symp­toms –

The truth is that op­por­tunis­tic in­fec­tions as­so­ci­ated with HIV can be ill­nesses on their own.

Peo­ple can have tu­ber­cu­lo­sis, shin­gles, pneu­mo­nia and still be HIV neg­a­tive. If you also de­velop a rash, sores or lose weight, it is im­por­tant not to sim­ply as­sume that it is HIV.

Yes, de­vel­op­ing some ill­nesses as­so­ci­ated with be­ing HIV pos­i­tive may ring an alarm. How­ever, use this to go for an HIV test. These con­di­tions can de­velop on their own. Take away that men­tal­ity be­cause it will also make you go around di­ag­nos­ing peo­ple with op­por­tunis­tic ill­nesses or other symp­toms wrongly.

If you per­son­ally de­velop them, let it serve as en­cour­age­ment to go for your own test to be cer­tain that they are on their own or came as a re­sult of HIV be­ing present.

HIV IS DI­AG­NOSED THROUGH A TEST

There is only one way you can know if you are HIV pos­i­tive. Go for an HIV test.

Do not as­sume or diagnose your­self be­cause you may be sub­ject­ing your­self to un­nec­es­sary and dan­ger­ous anx­i­ety and pain.

Make an ap­point­ment with your health prac­ti­tioner, get coun­selling and test. This is the only way to know your HIV sta­tus.

DO NOT AS­SUME THAT YOU ARE ALSO HIV POS­I­TIVE

Clement Fana Ntuli is a mo­ti­va­tional speaker and au­thor of the book Turn­ing Tri­als Into Tri­umph. Do you have any HIV-re­lated ques­tions? Email your ques­tion to Clement at clem­n­tuli@ya­hoo.com.

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