HIV, HOMOCOITUS AND THE NIGERIAN HOMOSEXUAL

HIV, HOMOCOITUS AND THE NIGERIAN HOMOSEXUAL

As a sexually active gay man, I am HIV and you are HIV. This is what we are…

Not too long ago, I had an epiphany or sudden realization in my consciousness that we are not winning this war against HIV. I realized in fact that we are never likely to win this war. I work with key populations affected by HIV; therefore I have easy access to statistics of HIV trends among the general population (heterosexuals) and MARPs (Most at Risk Population). While the trend shows a steady decline in the general population, it is rapidly increasing on our own side of the track, especially in the subgroup of the MARPs known as the MSM (men who have sex with men).

I am a very pragmatic, blunt fellow. People that I have had the opportunity to meet will attest to that. I will therefore say that we need far more than just abstinence and consistent condom use to help us win this war. Abstinence was initially touted as one of the best methods to prevent HIV infection but the statistics show it is simply not working because people just cannot be stopped from having sex. Realistically, very few people are really able to abstain from sex. Consistent condom use became the next best thing but even this is not free from some challenges. This is because a significant number among us don’t enjoy the sex as much when we sheath our dicks to the extent that some cannot sustain erections. It could even be argued that in heterocoitus, there are more practical reasons to use condoms like avoiding pregnancy, and that this method of prevention could be more effective in the heterosexual population.

Most of my friends, some of them ex-lovers, are HIV positive. This is not necessarily because they were careless or ignorant; mostly because they dared to love and trust their partners. I have seen HIV alter the course of the lives my friends, their self-esteem constantly ebbing, and all this gnaws my soul. I wept the day an ex-lover called me “Sir” and like a lamb, meekly hearkened to me; this is someone who ordinarily thrives on fights with me, who would quote all laws on earth and force me to do his bidding. And here he was, seemingly broken. Another friend had to change his career path, while another is worried about ever marrying and raising kids.

My fellow rainbow community members, I have more HIV positives than negatives as patients, and as friends. Let’s stop this trend; let us stop HIV before it wipes out our community. This virus is smart, not only is it becoming resistant to some of our Ant-retroviral medications, now there are incidents of transmitted resistance, and we are seeing more and more people who are resistant to both lines of ARVs. Meanwhile these fellows with resistant strains are sexually active and lax in condom use like most people. Such cruelty! And we should never forget that someone who is already HIV positive can get reinfected with a resistant strain.

My advice for those of us positives: please don’t be defeated. Don’t sink. Don’t let HIV destroy your life or dreams. Register with a clinic and be very serious with your drugs. In spite of its side effects, don’t give up, because the benefits of those drugs far outweigh the side effects. Currently I have patients who are positives but test negative because they have reached virology success, and they don’t joke with their drugs.

Now for us, who miraculously are still negative, if you are yet to attain 100% condom use like me, because my brain seems to stop working when I see a clean, shaved, cute, pert ass, maybe you should join me and do these:

1. Don’t discriminate against people living with HIV. In fact, I prefer to date somebody living with HIV whose viral load is undetectable, because it is almost impossible to get infected by him. This approach may be difficult for those who are not health workers because one then has to ensure a quarterly check the viral load and maybe keep a chart of their drug intake. Yah baby, a relationship is serious business, and you need to sow before you can reap. Lol! These methods work as far as your partner keeps taking his drugs.

2. PrEP, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. Every drug has its side effect, even paracetamol, likewise PrEP. With this drug, you are 92-97% protected from being infected, even if you are a bottom. This method is very effective and I am honestly advising every negative who is sexually active to commence it. And it’s free, especially for Abuja residents, just contact me.

3. Condom Use. While the correct and consistent use of condom cannot be overemphasized, I am honestly not morally worthy to advise anyone on this because I do fail woefully intermittently. It’s advisable to always use condoms because not only does it offer protection against HIV, it also has multiple purposes such as protection against STIs, hepatitis and it ensures clean sex. (*wink-wink*) Since I know this does not always work for me, I kinda keep very low profile (as regards sexual activity) and row with one person at a time. And who knows, I may have acquired some immunity because I’m a doctor. LOL!

In conclusion, I encourage those of us who are negative to try to tailor your lives to the abovementioned tidbits. None is foolproof but have been proven to reduce incident transmissions. And for those who are positive, please make your drug your best friend because that is what it is. The day you start playing with your medication is the day it starts failing you. Fuck well but fuck wisely.

Written by Simba

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53 Comments

  1. Mandy
    July 25, 06:06 Reply

    How can someone in Lagos lay his hands on PrEP please?

    • Simba
      July 25, 11:02 Reply

      Hello Mandy..we can all work round it.its a project and if u can fulfill the criteria, u ll be enrolled. We have folks from Lagos and PH enrolled, but u must assure me,u won’t miss ur clinic appointments and Pinky must vouch for u

      • Delle
        July 25, 11:12 Reply

        I want to be enrolled also

  2. Dennis Macaulay
    July 25, 06:36 Reply

    So many gaps in the HIV chain, its almost as if Nigeria is not serious about winning the war against the virus. Nigeria currently holds the world record on the number of babies born positive annually, meanwhile some countries have zeroed mother to child transmission. Nigeria is one of the leaders in infections from blood transfusions.

    So many inconsistencies with treatment protocols. My job makes me interphase with treatment centers in Rivers state and I often leave there mentally exhausted. Drugs are given based on availability not necessarily based on what is best for the patient, proper testing is not available to gauge success of treatment, health workers bring their religion and bias into advocacy!

    WAWU!

    I’d also say that anybody who doesn’t use condoms in this 2016 should be given 3 slaps and then one more for being stupid (this once permit me to be Judge Judy). You should use condoms correctly and consistently.

    As for PrEP? Hmmmm I’d say USE WITH CONDOMS as well, because countries in which PrEP has been successful while showing a downward trend in the number of new HIV infections, there is an upward trend in the rates of other STIs; gonorrhoea, syphillis and don’t forget Hepatitis which is equally just as virulent. I would say that people who are placed on PrEP should also be taught to use it alongside condoms.

    HIV doesn’t have to stop anyone, if we all decide to kill it out. I was excited with the vision 90-90-90 unveiled at the Durban conference even though I told my friend who attended that the absence of policy makers and heads of government of African countries at that conference makes it a talk shop only; all talk and no action.

    We can win this battle, but we need to be serious and smart about it.

    *DROPS MIC AND EXITS STAGE*

    • Simba
      July 25, 11:08 Reply

      I disagree with u Mr Dennis. Pls recheck ur statistics, Nigeria is among Successful nation in combating vertical transmission. Vision 90:90:90 has being for years too. But I agree with ur postulations on comdom usage, it should be used alongside PrEP. Also ur wrong statistically, crosscheck with the Clnics managing HIV in Rivers state, am sure they are better than u paint them, because their reports on General population is quite good.

      • Dennis Macaulay
        July 25, 12:27 Reply

        Don’t argue with me please about clinics in Rivers state! Forget data, ask people on ground. There is not one viral load machine in a government facility. Patients have to depend on private labs especially Pathcare and Pyramid both of whom charge 70k for the test. Now at 70k, please tell me how many people take the viral load test! CD4 count is also not free; they charge 4k at the teaching hospital and many of the patients don’t even bother themselves. Oga forget data and come to PH and see for yourself, its not even surprising that we currently have the highest prevalence rate in Nigeria. Our governor is an ogogoro man and Its a shame that his deputy is a physician.

        Nigeria currently also gives birth to 30,000 positive babies annually, please cross check with the global average and know where we stand.

        We are very in serious! Simple

  3. Santa Diaba
    July 25, 07:32 Reply

    Abstinence. Best. If one doesn’t enter the rain, one cannot catch a cold.

    • Dennis Macaulay
      July 25, 07:39 Reply

      Abstinence is not realistic! People must sha nack! Just give them safe options

  4. Shuga chocolata
    July 25, 08:04 Reply

    Thanks Simba,

    Last year I had a verbal fight with a positive person at the clinic,
    Reasons was that he always forget, and he comes back late from work, so my HOD said to me, you should call him at night to take his medication.
    I got filled with rage and I said things to him that I got queries for.
    What I’m trying to say is most individual neglect things even their health, except when death come knocking.

    This week will be a hectic one??

    • Simba
      July 25, 11:47 Reply

      Shuga.. U just have to keep trying.. Sometimes patients think its a favor they are doing u..

      • Shuga chocolata
        July 25, 12:09 Reply

        Exactly, some even demand payment for taking drugs,,, stories I’ve heard???? *akuko yea*

  5. DarkSide
    July 25, 08:27 Reply

    More and more people are getting HIV. Sometimes it makes me feel like it’s something everyone MSM will eventually get???

  6. Dimkpa
    July 25, 08:35 Reply

    I enjoyed reading this even though it induced the same anxiety that I usually get whenever HIV is discussed. It is well written, easy to understand and assumes a practical attitude to sex and prevention of STIs. I am glad to learn that PrEP is now available in Nigeria and even though I suspect it is part of a trial or study, it is still a welcome development.

    I would like to know more about the people who turned negative after treatment. Francis mentioned this in an earlier article and I took issue with it. Since then I have learnt this happened only in children and adolescents, not with all test kits and not at a high frequency. I assume the friends you mentioned that showed this are adults and if so, it would be interesting to know if you’ve come across similar reports in adults elsewhere.

  7. Kenny
    July 25, 09:24 Reply

    Thanks for knocking some sense into our head this morning.

  8. bain
    July 25, 09:34 Reply

    I heard some people are actaully “bug” chasers,n “dust” sprayers,if people like that exist,then the war is far from over.

  9. Delle
    July 25, 10:03 Reply

    This is so true!
    Almost everyone doesn’t want to use condoms. Raw is best, skin contact is indispensable. This is the major problem. You’d think the HIV awareness is out there, you’d think people have been fully sensitised on the dangers of this virus and why it should prevented at all cost, but no. The people are aware but not ready to adhere. It’s horrible.
    It’s horrible because it dwindles the morale many of us have towards safe sex. Some guys I’ve been with would be like, “Please na, let’s just do it raw just once. See I’m clean. Totally clean. Just this once and subsequently, I can sheath up.” Or “I’d want to deposit my wild oats in you, you’d like it.” Can you imagine?
    Yes, some guys say this! Even the enlightened ones.

    Do you know how spirit-dampening this can be? There’s this brief moment where you start to question if you should heed them or not. It’s horrible. If your self-control is a little wobbly, that’s how you’d fling the condom you provided for them YOURSELF o.
    So far, I’ve been able to resist them, ignore their flimsy plea for extra-pleasure and ensure I keep on with safety but for how long? I’m not saying this for me alone, but for the thousands out there that face these same things in the hands of care-free tops. I don’t need this condom, but I have to ensure I have one ALWAYS because of the lackadaisical attitude many guys have towards sex.

    Things have been done to ensure even those in rural areas understand the importance of safe sex but there’s more to be done apparently. This, amongst others, is the main cause of the increment in the HIV prevalence amongst gay men. I don’t know what’s wrong with us really, it’s annoying.

  10. Simba
    July 25, 11:45 Reply

    Gentlemen thanks for all ur comments.. Am quite busy but I promise all queries would be answered.. Delle keep using condoms Darling, don’t listen to them..Dimpka,nwoke Gbara Dimpka, Brb

  11. Dickson Clement
    July 25, 12:05 Reply

    Abstinence is practicable… you can KCW(kiss cuddle and wank)…

    Bang once in a while in the most careful way

    • Delle
      July 25, 12:34 Reply

      Lol…bang once in a while? Abstinence defeated.

  12. Chuck
    July 25, 12:07 Reply

    See how people are justifying raw sex. I agree with Dennis o, if you’re going raw Na you put your hand inside fire

  13. Recovery
    July 25, 12:44 Reply

    And on 28 of this month would be my first month and journey thru ARV. True that the benefits outweighs the side effects though, the side effects are just just something else for a start and one would get over it after a while. Was asked to start ARV with cd4 count of 795 which I did. I love myself so much and my friend made me start it even though I’ve been on immunace/selenium ace for a while now. Would go check my Vl on thursday and know how I am doing.
    Nice one Simba… Thank you for the info

    • Dennis Macaulay
      July 25, 18:23 Reply

      Stay strong!

      Selace is good, I only worry that the selenium content is very high and if you get selenium from food as well you may be over the WHO threshold. I’d suggest you buy Riconia Forte! It has 75mcg of Selenium coupled with other things your body requires and if you still eat a diet rich in selenium you are fine

      • Recovery
        July 25, 18:30 Reply

        I dont take the selenium no more… Just on the Arv for now lets see how it goes. Thanks Dm.

        • Francis
          July 28, 01:02 Reply

          ??????????

          Siddon there make some people dey hijack customers dey go.

          • Recovery
            January 12, 10:59 Reply

            Rofl… I just read meaning into this comment. U no well, aswear

    • DI-NAVY
      July 26, 08:09 Reply

      @RECOVERY you are so brave and I am so proud that you have started your medication. You will be fine trust me.

    • Recovery
      July 26, 08:26 Reply

      Thanks Di-Navy abi army, lol. I had no option than to start meds since the benefits outweighs the side effects. Like I have said earlier, its just a matter of time and u are good, trust me.

    • Tony
      July 28, 06:51 Reply

      Recovery can I have ur digits

  14. Simba
    July 25, 12:45 Reply

    This article is not meant to justify, or promote raw sex. Its rather to promote prevention using other means,condoms inclusive.
    PrEP was basically, introduced because most people weren’t using condoms and HIV trend kept climbing, most people who don’t use condoms are shy to admit it, hence need for PrEP and serodiscordant couples..

    • Chuck
      July 25, 14:27 Reply

      What about all the other STIs?

  15. Brian Collins
    July 26, 00:13 Reply

    Very enlightening. Thank you Simba.
    I have not forgotten your offer of lunch whenever I visit ABJ and that may very well be anytime now.

  16. KingBey
    July 26, 06:42 Reply

    *sigh* The list of things that can kill these days keeps increasing. IS, ISIL, Buhari Bad Administration, Avengers, BH, and the world keeps getting more toxic. Wish I can just relocate to another planet.

  17. HDX
    July 26, 10:30 Reply

    This and every other articles about HIV, always gives the shivers, I get careless most of the times, each time I go in raw, deep down in my mind I know its wrong, I do my check ups once every year, mostly june/july, and to think I’ll feel blessed and be grateful for being negative, instead I get so over confident and stupid!! I use condoms reluctantly, especially when the dude doesn’t thrill me that much, or when they demand I use one,
    I really wish I can develop the habit/culture of using condoms, its so Sad!! *_*

    • Simba
      July 26, 11:13 Reply

      Bro, keep trying.. Condoms still remains the cheapest,without side effects..

  18. Mike Daemon
    July 28, 14:51 Reply

    I am deeply worried for the Nigerian LGBT community.

  19. UB-Abj
    January 12, 09:28 Reply

    I have been on ARV and have archived an undetectable VL. and have used a condom. However Just recently I met someone who did the test and it showed negative am worried about infecting him, at the same time getting infected. Don’t know what to do

    • Recovery
      January 12, 09:57 Reply

      Stick to condoms darling… don’t ever let go. HIV ain’t the only “disease” one get through sex. Please be guarded…

    • Francis
      January 12, 10:02 Reply

      Like recovery said, stick to your condoms unless you trust him 200% and he’s willing to go on PrEP and stick to it religiously

  20. Mother Elektra
    November 04, 10:12 Reply

    The whole situation is just sickening. The stigma, the self-hate, the discrimination. And what is worse is how lightly we’re taking the whole thing. How our Nigerian-ness is once again prevailing over good reason. We somehow feel like we’re immune to it, until it in fact happens and then the terrible emotions flood in and some people choose to spread it instead of curb it. No one is safe anymore.

    And me sha I always wanted to find one man that I will be faithful to. One man that I will only have eyes for. But the level of ashawo-ness is just too high in our community. Even the few good men available sef some tough aunties have already blocked their eyes and turned their calabashes in the village. And now, I have been forced to identify as asexual. I will kuku touch what I need to touch and finger what I need to finger all by myself until that Uncle comes and we go and marry on the Eiffel.

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