The +++ Journals: Entry IV

Blog_The +++ Journals 02“We are going on a road trip!”

Josh laughed. It felt good to hear his throaty chuckle after a long time. (For someone who I was constantly in communication with, a few days without speaking or chatting with him always seemed like an eternity)

“Road trip ke? Where we dey go?” Josh replied with a yawn.

“Egbeda,” I deadpanned.

Mumu!” he burst out with another laugh. “You have started throwing shade again ba, this early morning.”

“Haba! I am not throwing darkness of any sorts, oga. But really, anything beyond the Third Mainland Bridge is a road trip and I will not apologize for it!” I retorted.

“For your mind, you sef, you are forming Island Big Gehz, ba? You don’t even live in Old Ikoyi, Parkview or Phase 1 o! Your house and Epe, no difference. Dey there dey deceive yourself.”

I let out a hearty guffaw. It indeed felt good, talking to Josh. Continue reading

Photo Of HIV+ Man With His HIV- Family Goes Viral, Combats Stigma

enhanced-29390-1431713275-1Andrew Pulsipher of Phoenix was born HIV-positive 33 years ago — his parents both had the virus and died of AIDS related illness when Andrew was a child.

And while many would write off his dreams of starting a family, Andrew knew he was still capable of living the life he wanted, on his terms. Above is the photo he shared recently that quickly went viral, in which he poses with his HIV-negative family. Continue reading

BEING BRUNO

Blog_Being BrunoFOREWORD: Dennis Macaulay has decided to take a little break off writing his weekly rants because of some study engagements. It’ll just be a few weeks. Until he returns, here’s a new series to occupy Wednesday’s foremost update.

WRITER’S NOTE: This story isn’t about what you’re going to learn at the end of this chapter. Secondly, I felt prompted to debut my writing on KD because of Bobby; after reading the ‘Before I Die’ series, I decided it was time. This story is fiction. All the characters and the plot are the works of my imagination, and any resemblance with real occurrences is purely coincidental.

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It began with – “It might be HIV o!”

That was what Robert said to you.

And just like that, your life changed. Continue reading

The +++ Journals

HIV-1728x800_cFOREWORD: Coming on the heels of the conclusion of Bobby’s Before I Die series, and here to share Tuesday mornings with Reverend Hot’s Those Awkward Moments, is another riveting real-life story about a KDian living and journeying through life with HIV. It is stories like this that make me proud of what we’re doing here on KD. Read below, be inspired, and share your thoughts below.

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People always say that the very beginning is the best place to start, and I agree with them. So it was only natural that I would try and find my own ‘Once upon a time’ over the past few weeks. But I have tried and tried, searched old diaries and my fickle memory to the very day when it all began and why. Yet I can’t seem to. Perhaps this is because, for me, there are so many beginnings that I cannot tell which is relevant anymore. Or it could be because I have wandered so far off that even if I tried to retrace my steps, I couldn’t.

So I’m starting from here, this lonely Sunday evening, sitting here and typing my very first journal entry. Hopefully I can pick up the pieces as we travel along.

My name is Temidire Oluwadurotimi Cole and I am HIV positive.

Wow.

HIV Positive.

Plus (+). Continue reading

Would You Date An HIV-Positive Guy?

F53326Matthew Hodson, the Chief Executive of GMFA, writes on the continued stigmatisation of HIV-positive people, and argues that avoiding sex or a relationship with someone HIV-positive is actually a bad strategy. Originally published on Pink News, he writes:

I’ve been living with diagnosed HIV for many years. In that time, I’ve had my share of sexual and romantic rejections on the basis of my HIV status. While these don’t make up any of my happiest memories, I’ve tried to take it on the chin. I’ve always been a firm believer that individuals have a right to work out the sexual strategy that is right for them – and that included rejecting people on the basis of their HIV status. But, you know what – I’ve had a change of heart. It’s bullshit.

Firstly, as a safer sex strategy, it just doesn’t work. We’ve known for some years now that someone on treatment is very unlikely to pass on the virus. How unlikely? Well you’re more likely to be infected from sex using a condom with someone who isn’t on treatment than you are to be infected from sex without a condom with someone who is on treatment. So when someone says that they’re going to avoid John because he has HIV (and is on treatment), and then runs off with Jonah, whose status is unknown, they’re taking a far bigger sexual risk. Continue reading

BEFORE I DIE: 6 (Be Good To Yourself)

????????????????????????????????????????????????????My douche never leaves my bathroom. I have two of them. The stationary one in my bathroom, and the mobile one in my bag. All those times Batman Mum searched my bags, she must have seen it in my bag and wondered what I’m doing with it. If she has seen it, then my dad knows about it. Maybe that’s where his suspicion that I am gay started from. Well, my answer to his query remains No, until I’m independent, and find some love crazy enough to bring me out of the closet.

I hurry to the bathroom to start my clean-up process. If you aren’t gay and you’re reading this, let me warn you – this is gross! This is gross!! This is so GROSS!!! I have my bucket of water close and my douche handy. I fill it with water and ****************, then finalize with taking my bath. (lol. What? You really think I’d tell you the specifics?)

Then, I select one of my sexiest briefs to put on. It is a special occasion of course. The briefs I am wearing is a superman-branded underwear. ‘This Is A Job For Superman’ is written at the back, on the part covering my cakes. The underwear is just being honest, because indeed, my cakes are a job for superman…or men. I put body-spray on hurriedly; it is getting late.

But what if the condom breaks? Immediately that thought crosses my mind, I slow down. I sit on my bed and self-stigmatization takes hold of me…again!

Why can’t I just shut my guilt out and have a fuck? At least, for one night! Continue reading

BEFORE I DIE: 4 (There’s A Reason For Everything)

????????????????????????????????????????????????????“Undetectable viral load…”

It is all I can think about. I can’t get the words out of my head. Although the e-book has told me what undetectable viral load is, I am not quite satisfied. I want to know all I can about it. It’s like finally getting admission after writing jamb eight times. It’s like winning the visa lottery. You know that feeling you get when you come home and your newly-wedded wife tells you she’s pregnant? Aha! That’s it.

Wait, my readership are gay men (and women). So, of course, most of you don’t now or intend to know that feeling. lol

Anyway, I’m not trying to quantify life or anything of that sort. I just want you to feel what I felt, or at least have an idea. The situations I just mentioned all have one thing in common. Can you guess? You probably can’t, because you’re not standing where I am standing. Well, I will help you. They all have this in common. They all either give you the chance of having a better life or moulding one. In general, you get to live a better, happy life. Continue reading

BEFORE I DIE: 3 (Lean On Me)

????????????????????????????????????????????????????I am walking through the corridor and I notice something. Everyone is staring at me, and laughing. I keep my head down and walk on straight. I don’t want to make any eye contact with anyone. The laughs are getting louder. They are even pointing at me now.

Then a voice calls me from behind. I turn and gape. It is Trey Songz.

Trey: Hey Bobby.

He sounds as naughty as a busty blonde in skimpy nurse uniform.

I don’t make a sound. I am still shocked. I am just staring at him with my jaw slackened. He winks at me. He starts taking his shirt off, smiling the whole time. Then he then goes for his belt, he takes it out and holds it like a dominatrix’s whip. He lashes at the air with it twice. TAH! TAH!! And suddenly his pants fall off. He has on black briefs; the left and right sides are made with a net-like material, and the front side covering his big bulge is made of a nylon material. I don’t know where the music is suddenly coming from, but it is nasty.

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard… Damn right! It’s better than yours…Continue reading

BEFORE I DIE: 2 (And He Comes Undone)

????????????????????????????????????????????????????Dad doesn’t say a word, at least not immediately. He sits heavily on his bed, then turns and looks at me. The silence is really awkward, and I just have to break it. So I continue speaking.

Me: I went for a test yesterday, and it came back positive.

Dad clears his throat, and finally says something.

Dad: Have you been sleeping with girls?

Me: No.

Dad: Are you a homosexual? Continue reading

BEFORE I DIE

????????????????????????????????????????????????????“Lights would guide you home

And ignite your path

And I will try, to fix you…”

Those are the words of the song I am listening to. It is Fix You by Coldplay, one of my favourite bands. The song is everything at this moment. It isn’t as though I am broken right now, but I feel as though I need to be fixed. My heart is beating, like I’m running from an angry homophobic mob, yet I’m wearing a calm face. I can’t afford to fall apart right now. Besides, my mum thinks she’s Batman, so I can’t give off any emotion to make her suspect something is wrong.

“And I will try… To fix you…” The song’s final words are followed by the soft thrum of a piano. I know it’s a piano because I have listened to the song thirteen times already. Then I look at the time and it is 2: 10 pm. My heartbeat increases. The lab scientist had asked me to come get my result by 2: 00 pm. I’m already dressed in the same clothes I wore to the lab yesterday. I put on my slippers and walk towards the door.

Mum: Bobby, where you dey go? Continue reading