Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Waiting.

Life; I never thought you this precious
Until I have ruined you
I took you for granted
Now, all I desire
Is to be buried in your
Mundane tide
Familiar gurgle
Monday to Sunday
9am to 5pm
Exams, midterms and essays.

Monday morning, I took a number,58, sat down and waited until they called me. Soon enough, the nurse put a needle in my vein, filled four vials with my blood.
"3-4 days, we send your file to your doctor. She will call you with the results."
I smiled, thanked her and left the clinic.
It was a beautiful day, I met up with a friend, we had breakfast.
I told her I was nervous, scared, my head was swarming with "what ifs"
"Relax, you are stressing yourself for nothing. I am sure you don't have anything."
"But what if I do?"
"You don't, drop it."
The night before, after work, I went to the Oratory.I must say, that the Oratory is a beautiful place of worship. It is situated on a mount, and when the sun rises, it rises behind it; It is quite a sight. There are trees surrounding this church, and you can see the whole city spread in front of you. When you walk in, you smell incense and Holy water. It always soothes my spirit, it always gives me hope.
It was All Saints day, also known as the Day of the Dead. I lit up a candle and prayed. I asked St Jude, a patron saint, to intercede in my favor and to heal me, if I am sick. I attended mass, with my mother, I prayed again and again, until I felt like God was getting annoyed at me. Every prayer, I started with 'Me, again." or "I know we just spoke, but.."
When I left, the air was crisp, the leaves in the trees rustled with a gentle breeze, the full moon shone bright in the sky and I thought 'No matter what happens, sick or healthy, I have a purpose and Life goes on."
The next morning, I woke up at 7:45, prayed, and went to get tested.

I'm scared to get the results, I am terrified that something is askew.
I have been careless in the past and although I've always been honest in my relationships with men I've dated, I realize today that they didn't benefit me. I didn't put my health, my pleasure, my values, first. Instead, I worried about their experience.
Sex, to me, was sex. You don't have to love someone to do it, it can be casual, and meaningless, for the sole purpose of pleasure. Just as long as you don't lie, just as long as you don't pretend to care about the person, or use them or hurt them. Sex is fun, it de-stresses you, it's amazing... Right?
Right.
Except, that Sex can also kill you, it can make you sick, it can shorten your life. When you don't protect yourself adequately, and even if you do, you can still contract a disease that will make you ill. Condoms break, in many instances, this happened to me. The horrifying thing is that all it takes is one person, one time, and your life changes its course.
Yesterday, I learned that Thembi Ngubane passed away from AIDS related meningitis. She was 24, she leaves behind a healthy 3 year old daughter. Thembi is South African, she was fighting HIV since she was 16 year old. She was an activist and you can find her diary here.
Also, Marvelyn Brown caught HIV when she was 19 years old. She was in love, in a monogamous relationship when, one day, she collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. She is 25 today, and has been promoting safe sex ever since. She has a website, you can visit it here.
Do I want to scare you? Yes, I do.
We think that it can't happen to us.
I was in a relationship for 2.5 years and I was on oral birth control, because he didn't like condoms. It was monogamous, we loved each other, it felt right. Marvelyn, Thembi and all the millions of women infected in the world, they could have been me, and they could have been you.
My mother told me of a story that hit the news in Poland; a girl went backpacking with some friends, she met a man in Spain, fell in love and decided to stay behind for the remaining months. Before she left, he gave her a gift in a box, asked her to only open it when she was home.
Excited, she unwrapped the gift; she found a dead bird, with a card. Welcome to the HIV community.
Stories like these are redundant. The leading cause of death (in the United States) for Black women ages 25-34 is HIV/AIDS.
Women are catching it from their lovers, their boyfriends, even their husbands.
Where I live, HIV isn't very widespread. But it's still here, hidden, lurking.
As for me. I don't believe I have it, I am most likely overreacting.
I won't know, for sure, until my test results come back. I got tested for everything under the sun; anemia, protein, glucose etc...
The only thing that scares me is HIV.
It is a monster, and it kills every time.
I haven't posted in a while, but I wanted to share this with a larger audience. Perhaps, it doesn't make me look good to talk about being scared of HIV,It's an ugly subject. Getting tested for HIV, itself, is a branding of a sort. Being scared of possibly having contracted it, THAT is another story. Of course, I must be promiscuous, a junkie, or a homosexual. Many people believe those are the only people who are at risk.
Well. I am neither; I am a 22 year old university student, who is well read, and knows that HIV doesn't discriminate. NOT being scared of HIV, is foolish.

Get tested, get educated and BE responsible. Don't put pleasure over health and don't be afraid to know your status.

9 comments:

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

You've been missed, Girl. I'm glad that you have spoken out because like others that do, someone is helped. I'm wishing you nothing but the best results.

Akirah said...

I'm wishing you a clean bill of health, my friend. But I agree it's important to be educated and to get tested. Well done.

tangerine: said...

i'm so happy you've written but i'm sorry to have found you in distress. i really appreciated this post, it spoke volumes.

but you're right, no one believes it could be them. we only hear stories of others and think that we're invincible, and that we could not be so unfortunate. so strange to know that they've had a breakthrough and have potentially found a vaccine for aids. so many lives have been lost.

regardless, it's admirable that you've been both cautious and brave.

aww now you've got my all worried about you, girl. :[

Lion-ess said...

Welcome back and glad you shared this. I know just how you're feeling because I was in that situation many times... wondering what if. You know really believes it'll happen to them and so many sad stories of faithful women catching it from their "faithful" partners.

Great post because it's so current. World AIDS Day is 1st December. Everyone should go and get tested because this might encourage many more around you to do the same.

God Bless!!
Keep praying girl, God is always listening!

Bri said...

Good to hear you again!

I know this well...I kept my first HIV test, those in-office ones that take a couple minutes, and I almost made it into a key chain! I was so proud of it. It was my first physical relationship and it turned out to be a lie.

It's always that you know nothing's wrong but those tests always put your stomach in knots.

Stay blessed

O.F.C.J. said...

Good that you've learned a lesson from all of your past experiences. I wish you the best. Thanks for keeping us posted!

O.F.C.J.

latree said...

there you are, been missing you.
you can share anything and we will listen.

thanks for sharing.
I hope you are getting better now.

*hugs*

NN said...

This is a wake up call for so many people. Thanks you for sharing this!

Nina

http://justninanova.blogspot.com

Americanising Desi said...

we all gotta learn from the past. be apologetic to God to get His blessings for a better life tomorrow.

I was really sad about something last night too. though i thought i wouldnt be that way but i was and i instantly repented so that in HIS books I don't degrade me