HIV… and why you should try not to get it

Disclaimer: Some people seem to think that I am suggesting that there is a cure for AIDS. There is no cure for AIDS, HOWEVER, there are a VERY FEW individuals of whom there are confirmed reports that due to whatever genetics they happened to be blessed with have been infected with HIV and have been able to naturally overcome the virus (which is really the only way to be cured of HIV… yet). Even though there is no cure for HIV, there are ways like using medical marijuana that can help to ease pain, nausea and stimulate the appetite. If this is something that you haven’t yet tried but is something you wouldn’t mind giving it a go especially if it can help manage these symptoms, then getting in touch with Salt Lake City medical marijuana doctors (if you live in and around this area of Utah) could be a step worth taking. You never know, this could be the answer to helping you live life more comfortable, even while living with HIV. Your health should be your top priority.

There are confirmed documented media reports of this so I am not talking out of my ass here. Of course, MOST people are not blessed with these genes or whatever and will die of AIDS if they contract HIV so please do not assume that I am claiming that there is a CHEMICAL cure for AIDS/HIV. I know that one has not yet been found.

I’m spending the weekend (and possibly a weekday or two) with Mellowyel. We’ve been having lots of fun so I haven’t really thought about blogging.

I have a confession to make.

I’m a fan of HIV tests. They hold a morbid addiction for me. When I was with Bakura (and he doesn’t know this) I got tested every month, rain or shine. Taking an HIV test is something that terrorizes a lot of people and I think the fear of knowing keeps a lot of people away from getting tested. My first test was terribly nerve-wracking. It took about an hour so I gave blood and then came back to get the results and the wicked lab technician had folded and stapled the results shut so I had to spend a few terrible seconds prying the staple off. Somehow I always thought that HIV results would basically be a big sheet of paper with NEGATIVE or POSITIVE written on them but it was basically a bloodwork report sheet and in the box for HIV was written no presence of HIV (blah blah medical stuff) antibodies or something like that. To find out more information about HIV and ways to get tested, click here. The more people know, the better this could be for their health.

Either way I read it and it looked negative but I couldn’t be sure so I asked the lab technician who confirmed that I did not have HIV. I swear I died a thousand deaths opening that paper which is funny to think about now because I hadn’t even done anything that might have put me at significant risk for HIV. Yes I was sleeping with Bakura but we were also using spermicidal latex condoms.

NOTE: Condoms don’t provide 100% protection against HIV but they come pretty damn close. You can find out more on sites like Lovegasm.co.

Anyway, it was a huge relief to find out that my immune system was not going to be slowly eroded away and that I would not become unwilling host to opportunistic infections and diseases but that did not stop my morbid fascination and paranoia.

Sex is a very curious thing. Or maybe it’s just my mind that’s curious and is making sex curious by association. Maybe it was Bakura. I don’t know. Whatever it was this was basically the formula.

The more frightened I became of Bakura, the more I needed to be in control. The more I needed to be in control, the more I lost control. The more I lost control, the more his indiscretions became apparent until the day he fucked someone in front of me. Yes, right under my nose. In our twisted world I had been bad and this was my punishment. And so my fascination with disease began. I had to see him join his body with someone else to understand that whatever was inside her was now inside him and if I let him anywhere near me it would be inside me too. Not that I knew whether or not there was actually anything inside her to fear but I got carried away. Or not.

Either way, I needed to control the growing fear inside me that was threatening to turn into hysteria. I went to see a doctor at the Maitama hospital and I told him everything. Me, Bakura, our strange relationship, our weird way of punishing each other, the control issues we had, the power issues we had, and my partially irrational fear that I might die of some horrid disease. I got this idea in my head that even if I really had HIV, it was way too early for any test to tell, and we’ve all heard the stories of HIV clearing up spontaneously in random people around the world so I theorised that if I started taking the anti-retroviral drugs early enough my body might just be able to defeat HIV on its own. (Because right now that IS the only way you can be cured of HIV. Your body has to kill it. Most people lose. Some very lucky people win and are cured)

The most surprising part of this was the doctor agreed to give me the antiretrovirals.

……
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I took them for three days and decided it was better to die.

Within thirty minutes of swallowing the first dose, I thought I was dying. I don’t even understand how I found the will to continue for the three days. I have never felt anything so terrible take control of my body and I hope I never will. It gave me a new understanding of what it means to have HIV or AIDS and have to take these drugs to stay alive.

A lot of people think about HIV and they say ‘God forbid’ or ‘It will never happen to me’ or ‘It is not my portion’ but then I think: If it is not your portion, whose portion is it then?

Some people might think that it is strange that I should be saying this when I’m not exactly one of the cheerleaders of virginity but have no confusion. Because I am against women furthering male chauvinist agenda by preserving their virginity for the sake of a man who neither accords you the same devotion (preserving his virginity for you) nor whose lifetime of behaviour towards you can be reasonably affected by the fact of your virginity does not mean that I support promiscuity either.

What do I define by promiscuity? Frequent, random, mindless sex…. with inhuman numbers of people. I do not think that two people in a committed monogamous relationship who have sex are promiscuous, neither do I think that a group of people in a committed polygamous relationship that have sex are promiscuous. While I feel that religion is a great and very valid/valuable reason for the case against all non-marital sex, I believe it deeply wrong to bandy about the term promiscuous and wrongly apply its meaning.

For example, I have been called ‘promiscuous’ by some fellow commenters simply because I do not support the Nigerian version of virginity. I was in a relationship with a dude. We had sex. That hardly makes me promiscuous. I might be a little too comfortable with sex and sexuality but I’m hardly Satine – most celebrated courtesan in all of Paris so please, let’s get it straight.

Either way, what am I trying to say? Too many of us live lives blissfully oblivious of the reality of those with disease. We pity them, we’re glad we’re not them, we donate to their causes,etc, but how many of us know what it’s like to walk and talk and breathe and exist with HIV. For three days in 2007 I got a brief glimpse into the life of a person with HIV and I sit here and admit to you that I could not find the courage.

And that’s me: someone who DOESN’T have HIV.

I had a choice to stop taking the medicine. What if I didn’t have the choice? What if I needed that very medicine that made feel as if I was dead to stay alive?

So many young Nigerians get infected with HIV because so many older Nigerians are hypocritical about sex. They won’t talk about it; they won’t admit they do it; they won’t admit anyone does it; if you mention it you’ll be labeled ‘corrupt’; people shun children (like me) that admit to any kind of sexual awareness… the list goes on.

I was lucky and I am lucky. I was the outspoken child that read everything. I had read all my grandma’s old obstetrics books by the time I was seven. Sure I didn’t know what everything in there meant but I could tell you at seven blow by blow how conception occurs and how a baby is born. People just thought I was bad. People still think I am bad, but I swear my “badness” saved me. Yeah, maybe I should have never had sex at all, but unlike many Nigerian teenagers when I did have sex, I was fucking ready. There was NO WAY the damn boy could have talked me out of a condom. NO WAY.

How many Nigerian children get slightly altered but very dangerous misinformation about sex from their peers and surroundings because their parents and everyone else is too ashamed or too holier-than-thou to talk honestly with them not just about sex but about the feelings, dangers, complications and applications that accompany it?

I have said the fear of Herpes is the beginning of wisdom but in truth, an armoury of accurate, honest, and confident sexual information for your child is the beginning of wisdom.

Anambra state BANNED any kind of sexual education that involved condoms.They claim they want to teach only abstinence. I am abstinent…. but I’m horny all time. However, I’ve had sex so I now know that even at my horniest, I’d much rather eat ice cream. Young people in Nigeria that feel repressed, hopeless, ignored, and sidelined don’t know that. Like me, sex for them might be a means of escape from reality. Young people in Nigeria that think sex is the only way they can be cool or fit in or gain control don’t know that. Who is going to tell them the truth? I assure you it’s not their parents. Their parents are too busy trying to convince everyone around them that Immaculate Conception is a daily occurence in Nigeria. And it sure isn’t their teachers either. Fuck, the Igbo words for penis and vagina aren’t even in ANY Igbo dictionaries. I found them in a freaking anthropological report that was written in the 1890s for goodness’ sake!

I wonder how many young people in Anambra state alone would have been able to avoid the daily reality of those terrible HIV drugs if only someone would have just been fucking honest with them. Abstinence is great but curiousity killed the cat. In the story Satisfaction brought him back but sometimes in Nigeria Satisfaction means you stay dead.




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  1. FEMME FATALE

    hey there sugar belly,

    I first heard about you from the whole mustapha audu situation flying around Facebook and at first blush, i though you were a floozy that got herself into a sticky situation and later stared crying fowl (forgive me) lol, but as i read more and more about you from bella naija and other blogs, i was kinda fascinated and came to your blog to read for myself. i started from your very first post and honestly i have come to respect you and see you as much more than the woman scorned victim that the media portrayed you to be but a highly, uniquely intelligent and gifted woman and i can only wish i was half as insightful and knowledgeable as you are when i was your age…

    i have been tempted to comment on many a post but just kept sailing by but when i got to this one, i knew i had to say something because it hits so close to home… i was one of those girls who knew nothing about sex, sexuality, contraception and what what all i knew about them was it was “BAD” and good girls wait till they get married before spreading their legs, so as a good girl concerned,i waited… i waited till i was 23 when my prince charming literally rode into my life, i fell hook line and sinker for him and of course as the love dey shack us, i let down my guard and spread my legs for him, at that time lil virgin ol me had never had sex with any soul but he had a body count of over 50 women..he told me cos i believe we were genuinely in love but that never raised any red flags for me, i dint even know much about HIV at the time.. long story short, fast forward to 2011, i went for my first job interview/medical and was given the cherry news that i, miss-wait-for-my prince-charming-till-i-spread-my-legs, miss-must-have-one-and-only-one-man-till-forever-and-death-do-us-part, was HIV positive, needless to say i almost died that day and the months passing, how could goody two shoes like me get HIV, saying i went through emotional, mental and physically torturous stages is just an understatement, i dont know how i survived but i pulled through and i kept pulling through and i keep pulling through, mr prince charming and i broke up of course because i couldn’t reconcile the betrayal with the love he claimed he had for me. it was overwhelming for me, like he knew he was infected, how could he do this to me…? well Mr prince charming is now married and im a 29 y.o young woman counting down to 30 birthday in the next few days and no man, not like im pining over that but… as usual, the woman bears the brunt? short end of the stick

    Thank goodness that the treatment has improved thoroughly from this time you blogged about it , now its just a pill a day a treatment has progressed to magnanimous levels, such that with adequate treatment,it cant even be detected in your blood stream any longer but in Africa and a lot of the world, the stigma still holds strong,,tell anyone you are HIV positive and you are immediately labelled a HO, with a litany of men to your kitty not realizing that it takes only one man to infect you with HIV, whether that is the only man you have ever known is not their concern, its as good as wearing a scarlet letter in the medieval times…

    i dont know why im here pouring my heart out on your blog by 2:37 am, but i read your work and i wish somebody could have told me so i would have been wiser and more careful when i was growing as well. i will not ,if i eventually have children, spare them any details about the realities of life, sex and everthing in between..

    im really taken by your level of intelligence Sugarbelly, you are a force to be reckoned with and i think you need to share your wisdom with young girls of today cos so many dont know and so many parents still shy away from the sex talk. It can happen to any body like it happened to me, i was the most unlikely of candidates but life always has a way of fucking those who are too careful over! lmao, well,aint that the truth!

    you are awesome, and you are more than a victim, you are more than what audu and his lil buddies tried to do to you, you are an exceptional woman and your wisdom and vivacity should be put on a pedestal, this is all you should be known for…

    thanks for teaching me at age 20 what im just getting to know at age 30… girl, you rock!!! sorry for the epistle btw, peace and love 🙂

    • sugabelly

      Thank you so much for writing this. I’m sorry for what that fake Prince Charming did to you. I’m glad to hear the treatment has improved. When I wrote this while taking PEP, I thought I was going to die.

      I hope he gets his comeuppance eventually, and you get your happy ending.

      Love and hugs.

      Sugabelly

  2. blow

    …I had taken the PEP for a month once upon a time….first few days I could hardly get out of bed. It made me appreciate my patients more…cos before I just prescribed the medications and expect them to comply. Kudos to all the Diabetics…to all the hypertensives…to all the patients with chronic ailments who have to take medications daily…you are all strong strong!


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