It pays to know your HIV status

EDITOR — There is no point in shunning testing and counselling centres as long as one is sexually active.

People seem scared of visiting these centres because they might discover the worst.

This is a foolish mentality because if you are HIV positive, denying it doesn’t make you well.

Rather it exposes you to the heinous consequences of Aids which were experienced back in the days when the disease first reached our shores.

Getting tested and knowing your status helps you to act swiftly and reduce the damage caused by the virus to your body before it’s too late.

It also helps you to monitor your diet (especially for those who smoke and drink, even those who occasionally eat fast foods or braais). Most importantly however, it prevents infections and reinfections with your partner which speeds up the spread of the virus in your system.

Refusing to go for testing and counselling is like being a farmer who dissociates himself from any source of meteorological information preferring only to act when the rains fall.

Such a farmer can never make an impact upon society because he is always caught unaware by circumstances.

Forewarned is forearmed. We are all victims of the decisions we make or choose not to make.

The consequences of our actions decide our destinies.

Times are changing and advanced drugs that target HIV-related infections are being discovered everyday.

Some people prefer not to take these medicines and live like their healthier friends and acquaintances.

This again will only lead to problems because if you are sick you are sick, pretending to be well doesn’t make you well anymore than pretending to be a pilot makes you one.

Accepting your condition and finding out how you can survive with it is wiser and more beneficial.

Some people have a defeatist mentality when it comes to dealing with the HIV virus.

I have heard that there are some who go around wilfully infecting other people with the virus because someone they trusted had infected them too.

So in a wild display of vengeance they target unsuspecting people and infect them, sometimes even forcefully.

This is childish thinking and it only exposes the infected person to danger.

In certain cases, one ends up sleeping with someone who has fully-blown Aids and your condition becomes worse afterwards.

I have heard that some people go to witchdoctors who tell them to sleep with a virgin in order to rid themselves of the disease.

People should know better.

This is just another way of spreading the virus to innocent and vulnerable members of society.

Sometimes one gets the virus from their promiscuous partners and they become so bitter and resentfully to the point of wanting to fight back. The solution to this bitterness is simple counselling.

If an experienced counsellor helps you, you have a whole new way of seeing your ordeal.

As a nation, we should strive to make Zimbabwe a better place because no one will do it for us.

Think about it. It takes a brave person to confront reality. Go and get tested today.

D Zvemisha,

Harare

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