It is often said that it is easy for one to laugh at a mentally deranged man who is dancing in the market place so long as the mental man is not his relation! True or false? That is the reason until COVID hits any member of one’s family, he or she would still be taking it for granted. Interestingly because of COVID, we seem to have forgotten about the existence of HIV / AIDS. Those of us who have been entering things by ‘hat’ with reckless abandon ‘woke up’ just last week.
The front pages of some newspapers scared the hell out of us. We go talk true. Saadziwa! Any ‘serious’ man was not comfortable reading just the headline let alone the full story. In fact, for me, my heart missed 10 beats in 1 second the moment I saw it. Almost 24,000 HIV cases in just 6 months? How? Eish! the earlier one gets to know of his or her status, the better o. The 20 something thousand nu, did the ‘victims of the infection’ just walk in to test or? At this stage in my life even if you drag me to the lab for such a test, as to whether I will do it or not, the decision remains mine. HIV test? Hehehe!
That does not mean you should go and put yourself on anti-retroviral medications when you have not yet gone for the test. Just like December last year, I felt all the symptoms of omicron but decided never to go and test. Fortunately for me, those who had tested positive were given some common medications including azitromaicin, paracetamol and vitamin C. I refused to do the test but went in for those ‘preventive’ medications anyway. It was better I didn’t know my status. Honestly in December 2021, if someone didn’t get COVID, that person is either a native doctor or an iron rod or probably got it and it went away on its own. It was almost impossible to escape it no matter what one did. December 2021 and omicron variant? Hmmm! Mine started from heavy sweating, sleeplessness and pains at the back of my legs as if I had just freshly joined a keep fit club. Clearly, it was the thing some but I told myself it was better to just join the bus going to Mamprobi-Agege without asking whether the bus will pass through zongo junction – I started with the medications that those who went to test positive were taking. I don’t blame them; they went opening the eyes of a corpse and saw what should not be seen.
I also just continued with my Lord’s prayer while treating a case suspected to be omicron. You know, it is less scary to say ‘omicron’ than to say ‘COVID’. Do you remember the Lord’s Prayer? If you never went to a cyto (public basic school), you probably would not know the real words in the prayer. Back in Anunmle 3 Primary School, the prayers went like this: ‘Our Father, Good afternoon heaven. Hello be their name….this is isisisisisisisisisisisi…..and then we close! Up till now it is difficult for me to recite that simple prayer yet I go to church Friday nights too and keep asking the Holy Ghost fire to descend on my enemies and consume them. Christianity of revenge seems to have taken the better part of many of us. In some of the private churches, some people actually go to church with stones to go and attack the devil. Eish! CHRIST was not a tit-for-tat person yet many of us who claim we are Christians are always looking for how to pay back evil for evil. Have we forgotten the turning of the other cheek to receive another slap if the other cheek had already been slapped? Hmmm!
Family planning is good o. In listening to the advice of the National Population Council not to born plenty pikins a few years back, I bought ten pieces of eyi for my wife and I to use against any ‘not-ready-for’ baby. I hate to use the term ‘unwanted babies’ bcos they turn out to become some of the best! The following day, she travelled for 8 days and at the time of her departure, we were left with still only 10 pieces of the family planning ‘these things’. When she returned it has reduced to 3. Come and see confrontation! Of course, I blamed it on Michael, that my friend who always feels shy to get to the pharmacy to buy his own. Meanwhile, Michael and his wife are struggling to have children so my wife wondered why Michael would want to do family planning when…hmmm. I should have told her the rats in the bedroom came for them as balloons like by now I am a free man! We are still fighting. God forgive me la!
A couple of years ago, my ex-fiance who was schooling outside Accra called to tell me their college had requested them to do an HIV / AIDS test – a test I dread to undergo. Kai! It’s better I don’t know oo. After all, man must die of something!
Asked what the result was, though I was uncomfortable on the other side of the phone, she said the test result was negative and that was good news, to me. After hanging up, I was here in Accra jubilating. For the first time, I drank beer – the locally made one called asaana! Don’t disturb my peace; every beer be beer!
Early on in my career, I got a job and asked to do several medical laboratory tests including the most dreaded HIV test. Ei, but for the fact that the job was a well-paying one, I’m sure I would have ignored the test and declined the offer.
I met one of the most unprofessional lab technicians ever. After the tests for a number of people the following ensued at the reception:
Lab Technician (LT): ‘Please are you Mr Zogbenu?’
Me: ‘Yes Sir’! (while at the same time wishing he was referring to another Zogbenu)
(I quietly asked myself ‘what is the meaning of this ‘Hmmm’ from this young ‘murderer’ who deserves to die along with me if my worst fear was the case’).
At this point, my whole world spun around like a case 5 football in flood waters.
Then he continued.
LT: ‘well, are you here with anybody, maybe your parents, wife, or a sibling who is older than you?’
At this point I couldn’t hold my cool and requested to know the essence of this whole torture.
Me: ‘Please tell me if there is any problem’
LT: ‘I am sorry under the circumstances I can’t disclose your status to you alone; there is the need for an elderly person to be around’
Me: ‘Hmmm’ (I had constipation prior to this exercise but at this point I developed diarrhea).
LT: ‘Well, I can tell you that this is not the end of life. You can still live your life fully even if it turned out that you are HIV positive’
Me: ‘Posi what? My friend, please what is delaying this whole disclosure of my status’?
At this point I nearly left the hospital regardless of whatever the result might be. I was also ready to forget about the job offer. After all, it is better to remain jobless than to know what can literally kill me.
LT: ‘Anyway, please open the envelope and read what is in it’.
Me? Read what? Hmmm!
I started shivering like a leaf! Your eyes sweet you oo. You want to hear what happened next? You lie.
HIV / AIDS is real and please wear condom before you enter the net or else hmmm! But condom use too no sweet o so why not stick to your wife only…once in a while? Hahaaaaa!
Honestly, I am not surprised at the alarming figures because for some time now, anytime I get to a guest house or movie house, the place is full! I don’t know what the occupants are there doing. Even me myself, I don’t know what I go there to do. Hahahahahaa!
Abeg enjoy your weekend and don’t do what I did some months ago and got scared when I saw the latest HIV figures for the first 6 months of 2022. Stay blessed and safe!