HIV: ripping off the bandage
Hi Valentine. I need your help. My girlfriend has black pimples on her belly. Could she have AIDS and be hiding it from me?
I would laugh if your question was not so sad. You are dating a woman and possibly having sex with her and yet you are asking me if she has AIDS. This tells me that you have not insisted that you and your partner get tested together. It also tells me that you don’t really trust her.
I get it. The sexually-transmitted infection conversation is neither sexy nor easy. In fact, it can be downright embarrassing and excruciating. None of us wants to imagine our partner with other people. We also do not want to imagine that the apple of our eye could be carrying some life-altering infection that might necessitate the end of our relationship. Then how do you find the words to say these things that can sound like an accusation of promiscuity and slutdom? I get it.
Trust and commitment
Unfortunately, it’s like ripping off a bandage: you just grab it on one end and give it a firm yank. It will never be pleasant, but it can soon be over and done with.
So the next time you are in the middle of some mundane task, mention to your girlfriend that you really like/care about/love her and that you would like to take your relationship to the next level of commitment and get tested for HIV and other STIs.
Pick a day in the week and ask her if that works for her and then just go.
Despite being uncomfortable, this conversation is actually a sign of growth and can represent a new level of closeness in a relationship. I would feel that my man cares about me and wants us to express our affection in a safe and responsible way. It would tell me that he respects me and our relationship and I would respect him more for having the guts to bring up the conversation. Good luck.
Have you ripped off the bandage in your relationship and gotten tested together? Did it go better or worse than you thought? Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Love Matters Naija and Love Matters Kenya.