The +++ Journals: Entry V

Blog_The +++ Journals 02It has always been easier to play the class clown. I learned much earlier that it was a good defence mechanism; the best way to hide my disappointments, rejection and worries. So it came as no surprise to me when I tried to downplay my new status and brush it off my back.

Upon our return from Daberechi’s lab, Josh and I hung out like we would do on a lazy Saturday: we dined on Josh’s spicy jollof rice he referred to as Mama’s special, watched reruns of our favourite shows and went out for a meet-n-drink with a couple of friends when the sun set.

There was cold beer and up-tempo music, with, of course, Yours Truly playing the role of the king’s jester and endeavouring to make everyone laugh. I think it was and still is a good distraction – focusing on everyone else and living in the moment. Besides, if I decided to stay at home and stew, it would not change my circumstance. After one too many bottles, I went home feeling optimistic about life and the road ahead. Continue reading

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

The +++ Journals: Entry III

Blog_The +++ JournalsDaberechi and I were destined to be friends. I believed it was beyond serendipity to keep bumping into her on various Social Media platforms. I guess this was because we seemingly played around the same circles and had a handful of mutual friends. While I mostly enjoyed playing Switzerland online when community-related debates and issues sprang up, her opinions and reactions were vocal and unpretentious. I particularly admired her brazen approach and grace against the harsh criticisms and lashing she often faced from trolls and cyber-bullies.

So I decided to friend her on Facebook and although our chats were seldom, I managed to stay in touch with her over the last year or thereabout. I had promised her countless times that I would visit and bring over some material for the Human Rights Initiative she managed, especially since she always seemed to have answers for me when I reached out to her.

“Hey girlfriend,” she said after a loud yawn. 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: Entry II

Blog_The +++ JournalsThe 21st of February was like every other Saturday morning. This meant I would probably wake up hung-over and foggy-brained from too much drinking the previous night. There would be a dull but persistent throb in my head, a dryness in my throat and sometimes a dark, often beautiful, but always naked body snuggled against mine. Or if I were less fortunate, I would have to deal it with an oblivious Josh who snored and threw himself carelessly from one end of the bed to another. So yeah, it was another typical Saturday. But it was just me in my bed this time. Hung-over. Naked. Alone.

Besides the overwhelming urge to pee and need to quench the dryness in my throat, the heat from the rising morning sun pushed me out of bed. I stumbled to the bathroom and did my business before opening my cabinet to get out some Panadol for the headache.

And there it was – the Home Kit. My nemesis was staring at me. 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

STICKS AND STONES, BLOOD AND BONES

hivmanFOREWORD: Previously on Dubem’s HIV story, click HERE to read.

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One day, when the glory comes

It will be ours, it will be ours

Oh, one day, when the war is won

We will be sure, we will be sure

Oh glory!’

I watched the 2015 Hollywood award shows before seeing the movie, Selma, and so, I got to watch John Legend and Common’s performance of the movie soundtrack, Glory, before grasping the power of the Black Civil Rights Movement depicted in the film.

But this piece isn’t about all that. It’s about the lesson derived from a sense of hope and a strength of will.

I am Dubem, and I have being living with an awareness of my HIV Positive Status for three years. 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

Antibody Effectively Suppresses HIV Infection During First Human Trial

150408133040-largeAn antibody designed to fight HIV that generated excitement last year when it was proven to work well in monkeys has now been shown effective in humans.

The results of a phase 1 clinical trial using antibody 3BNC117 were published a few days ago in the journal, Nature.

In the trial, researchers injected the antibody into 29 volunteers, 17 with HIV and 12 without. The subjects received one intravenous dose of 1, 3, 10, or 30 milligrams of the antibody.

“Among HIV-infected participants, 3BNC117 had the greatest effect on the eight participants who received the highest dose, resulting in significant and rapid decreases in viral load,” the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported in a news release. “HIV resistance to 3BNC117 was variable, but some individuals remained sensitive … for 28 days.” Continue reading

BEFORE I DIE: FINAL EPISODE (Run Away)

????????????????????????????????????????????????????I am thoughtless. I am just blank. I’m not angry. I’m not happy. I’m not depressed. I don’t know what I am feeling. I don’t even know what I feel towards Mum, but I know it isn’t a good feeling. It is that kind of feeling you don’t clearly understand, but somehow causes you to end up making bad choices, as long as they help you feel better.

How could she? I thought they understood me? Should I blame it on ignorance? Maybe she really doesn’t know what she is doing? Maybe it’s my fault in the first place? If I hadn’t gone and bagged me some HIV, this wouldn’t have happened.

I simply turn around, away from her, and return to my room to lie down. Whatever I am feeling however didn’t let me be. I’m not at rest, but I can’t place my hand on anything to be the reason. Nothing seems to matter. I plug in my ear phones and start listening to music. I don’t know if that helps, because I am still feeling those things. Continue reading