Image of a healthcare provider taking blood to test for HIV

Back to zero: then he told me I had HIV

By Anthony Okoth December 2, 12:57 pm
Jenn had everything going for her – until she placed too much faith in the wrong person. And she only had a handful of people she could count on.

It can’t happen to me

'There are some things that I never thought would happen to me. I mean, I’ve always been a careful person, bordering on obsessive-compulsive even. Everything I ever did was well thought out, from my choice in a partner to who my friends were.

So when I was told my boyfriend of two years was unfaithful to me, I refused to believe it. When he said that we should stop using condoms, I never asked why. I trusted this man with my life. I did everything that was expected of me as a girlfriend, so it was only fair that he reciprocates, right?

'Then I started to get sick. At first, I thought it was nothing: nausea, persistent coughing… Nothing I hadn’t gone through before: I went to the chemist each time, bought something over the counter. Problem solved. But this time I never got better, and I realised I had to see a doctor. So I did. He said I would need to have blood work done, and I assumed it was to be for the persistent sickness. I was not prepared for what the doctor would tell me.'

Bad decisions

'He walked into the room with the results and I immediately knew there was a problem. He’s been treating me since forever, after all.

When he told me I had HIV, I went numb.

I can’t remember anything he said to me after that. All that ran through my mind was how could this happen? I only slept with one person… and then it hit me. My naivety had cost me dearly.

'When I confronted my boyfriend, I expected to be crying, to be broken. I wasn’t. As I sat listening to this person lie and lie again about how sorry he was, this person I had once trusted with my life, this person who had betrayed me completely and changed my life forever… I wish I had wanted to hit him, to hurt him and to make him pay, but there was nothing but apathy. I just wanted to be done with him.'

Starting again

'It was really bad in the beginning, and I got really sick. I got breakouts on my skin, and people started to talk. What really bothered me was the people who I considered my closest friends and how they changed.

All of a sudden they wouldn’t hang out with me, as if I was contagious.

These were people in university, people who should’ve known better… People I loved. How could I have been so blind to how fickle they were?

'I thought the hardest part about having HIV would be the health aspect: watching what I eat, the medicine, the check-ups, the discipline, and change of lifestyle.

As difficult as that has been, it doesn’t come close to the emotional recovery I had to make. Forgiving myself for trusting a man who left me in this situation, realising that the people I thought were my friends were gone.

I had been pegged back to zero, literally having to start again in almost every aspect of life. Thankfully I have a support system around me, albeit a smaller one, and I’ve learnt from my mistakes.
The second time will be the charm.

Have you had a similar experience? Please share below or join the discussion on Love Matters Naija or Kenya.

Did you learn something new?

Kelly. J
Wed, 12/03/2014 - 03:56 pm
A bitter Lesson indeed, sorry girl, i have always tried to caution young girls in matters of "Trust" in relationships and finally my boys have condemned me of betraying them by revealing their boyish character, who told them about this if not the girls themselves, i am afraid to warn again
Wed, 12/03/2014 - 05:29 pm
am really sorry for what ur going through, just know that God gives us what we can handle. just pray for peace n know that those people around us;most of them are pretenders.
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