68 responses

  1. Stickysly
    September 1, 2014

    Awesome story.
    I say no more.

    Reply

  2. Dennis Macauley
    September 1, 2014

    Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of your life! Amazing!!!

    I previously saw myself as open minded and medically informed as progressive but a few years ago I disappointed myself. I was doing my NYSC when I made contact with this guy online and we agreed to meet up for drinks. That evening he came looking good and all and I was feeling the guy until he said he was positive. Like the wind was taken out of my sail and I made excuses and left later. No sex happened and I started avoiding the guy. He sent me a text saying “if I did not tell you about my status we would have still had sex with a condom and you would be fine with it. And it’s just silly you are avoiding me with all your medical knowledge”.

    Now looking back I am ashamed of my actions, as it’s often the isolation and rejection that kills faster than the virus. Maybe I would have skipped the sex part, but I had to reason to avoid the guy and who knows where that friendship would have gone.

    On the side the HR manager had no right to disclose a person’s health state to a third party. Its is unethical, wrong and actionable! You should have sued!!!

    Reply

    • Khaleesi
      September 1, 2014

      Yes!! Disclosure of patient medical records is a huge breach of medical ethics! You should sue as well as write a petition to the Medical & Dental council of Nigeria!!! Like several other things in this shithole, our anti – discrimination laws are weak & ineffectual …

      Reply

  3. lluvmua
    September 1, 2014

    Awwwwww so touching !!! Dubem dear just know that I still love u no matter what ok!!! *cleans tears*

    Reply

  4. JustJames
    September 1, 2014

    It’s pretty brave of you to tell your story. I also wish you a healthy and long life and I pray that you have strength to overcome whatever hurdles that come with the virus. You’ll be fine. ☺

    Reply

  5. Deola
    September 1, 2014

    This was so touching. Dubem your story really is inspiring. And i am glad you seem to be making it out of the pit that life threw you in.
    Sending your hugs and kisses dear. *wipes tears*

    Reply

  6. simba
    September 1, 2014

    Okay Dubem, It was a touching story and very vivid. Ur a strong soul. I ve dated a positive person, infact kept some of his ART in my house to make sure he doesn’t miss it,incase of a sleep over. There is a current research ongoing, abt initiating ART immediately or waiting till the CD4 count drops to 250-300. U can discuss further with ur Dr and decide ur options. Ur story touched me, cus it sounded very familiar. HIV discrimination is common any where there is ignorance. Cus subconsciously it scares people,and they wanna protect themselves not minding how u read or hurtfull their actions are. Just ignore their initial response, it’s mostly out of shock, those tht love u will come back. Stay strong cus really nuffing is changed.

    Reply

  7. Blaq Jaqs
    September 1, 2014

    Thank you Panther for telling for making this story a beautiful and relatable experience.
    And to Dubem, for sharing your story. I’ve always wanted to feel first-hand, the emotions and journey of someone living with HIV. And you and Pinky have made this possible. Thank you.
    I’ve heard of several institutions, mostly banks, who conduct HIV tests without the knowledge of the applicant and use it as a basis for recruitment. I find it unethical and appalling. If we had a more robust and just Legal system you should sue and make enough money to live on an island with clear waters and sip pina colada’s for the rest of your life!
    I wish you a beautiful journey ahead, which would definitely be filled with its highs and lows and tupsy turvy turns (this is not unique to you alone, we are all silently fighting one battle or another.)
    Thank you once again…

    Reply

  8. King
    September 1, 2014

    Ah Dubem my dear dear buddy..don’t despair and dont give up. But this is my first time hearing that someone could be positive and not take retroactive drugs…..maybe ave been living under a stone!…..Pinky by the way you weave a tale like a master craftsman eh woman hehehehehe….love u to bits dear

    Reply

  9. mirage
    September 1, 2014

    To say that was brave is an understatement!I ate every word,hook line and sinker.God bless your friend Bassey,your dad&your brother.That’s why I often say,no matter what life throws our way,our immeditae family are always the pillar,extended and even friends would fade but they remain.Was so touched and impressed by your story.God bless you*a thousand hugs*

    Reply

  10. Ruby
    September 1, 2014

    Now that’s D̶̲̥̅ way 2 Bounce Back! Hope ur aunt can eat her heart out @ her stupidity n shallow thinking.

    Reply

    • Dubem
      September 1, 2014

      LOL. I haven’t seen or spoken to her in a long time. Ever since I returned to Lagos, that is.

      Reply

      • teebaby
        September 2, 2014

        Dubem,its really nt easy …i av a likely story..am also +,buh no body knows ,i actually didnt kno ow I got infected or wateva….buh I thank God am still alive……..wld love to get ur contact and talk more…

        Reply

  11. Absalom
    September 1, 2014

    You are brave beyond words, Dubem, so brave. Thank you for telling this story.

    Reply

  12. trystham
    September 1, 2014

    Wow!!! I dunno what I wud do if I found out I were positive. Not being insensitive, but I wud die. The knowledge that I could be segregated would kill me. While I may not be much into physical interactions, I still need ppl around me like a junkie needs his fix. I wish u a lifetime of happiness.

    Blaqjaq, seriously, that is the worst. All these companies can form ‘compliance with international standards” but exhibit the worst form of segregation. I always believed when applying to them, indicating one’s status and sexuality always gave one an edge. Alas!!!

    Reply

  13. Rapu’m
    September 1, 2014

    Well, they’ve said it all. Thanks for sharing this part of you with us. Lots of love bro.

    Reply

  14. Chizzie
    September 1, 2014

    Sorry ..We’ve had our differences here, maybe this would explain why . Wish u a long life

    Reply

    • Dubem
      September 1, 2014

      Um, thanks Chizzie for the long life part. i appreciate that. But i don’t know how to react to the other part of your comment. My HIV status has nothing to do with our differences. I don’t know how this would explain why…

      Reply

  15. daniel
    September 1, 2014

    My God Dubem, I haven’t seen such bravery since Kanye west interrupted Taylor Swift’s VMA acceptance speech. This alone shows how u conquered that hell trip.. Keep being strong, keep being you and keep living healthy, things could change.. #believe

    Reply

    • Blaq Jaqs
      September 1, 2014

      Errr… Kanye interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech was not brave. it was immature, unnecessary and distasteful. Everything that this piece is not….

      Reply

      • pinkpanthertb
        September 1, 2014

        Lol. Blaq sef. You do have a point.

        Reply

      • King
        September 1, 2014

        Think so too!!

        Reply

      • daniel
        September 1, 2014

        I agree that to some people like u it was distasteful, immature and all, but if it didn’t mean something to him he wouldn’t do it, don’t u imagine that somewhere in that VMA crowd that night, people agreed with his opinion? Do u realise that even some people who have read this post will think Dubem didn’t really need to out his status? Bravery doesn’t mean u just did a right thing, it means u were courageous enough to do something that is rare.

        Reply

      • king
        September 1, 2014

        Eh??? Sorry do not agree with u abeg abeg abeg..so even if it’s as rare as killing your own father as its quite rare in naija..awww common..your definition of rarity needs tweaking and a lot at that!….whaaaat…” picking up my very long schlong and aiming it at you oooo Daniel grrrr!

        Reply

  16. olima
    September 1, 2014

    Dubem! God bless u for sharing. Neva read a story dat left me weeping. My heart truly goes out to u. Can’t help it…. Sobbing. Tis well bro.

    Reply

  17. Ace
    September 1, 2014

    All I can say is Be Strong! This is really touching.

    Reply

  18. Khaleesi
    September 1, 2014

    Bless your heart Sista Pinky, you’re really a master (Mistress actually) storyteller!!
    @Dubem, I salute your courage & thank you so so much for sharing your poignant,painful story. You indeed stared into the pits of hell but happily, you were strong enough to step back from the brink and regain your life. The level of ignorance about HIV in our society Is mind boggling, of course that odious anti-gay bill further complicates things.
    I always thought that once a person tests positive for HIV, he had to immediately commence taking anti-retrovirals, thanks so much for teaching me something new today! Please remain strong, guard your health (phyical& emotional) jealously. Being HIV positive is not an automatic death sentence as we now know, you have no reason not to reach your full God given potential as well as to live out in good health the number of years God has assigned to you. Please forgive your Aunt, she was acting out of fear and ignorance.
    Dr Bassey isnt your only friend, if you need one more friend, pls get in touch with Aunty Pinky, she’ll let me know & I’ll extend my warm embracing arms of friendship your way. .. *hugs my dear**

    Reply

    • Dubem
      September 1, 2014

      Forgive my aunt… Hmm, I’m sure I will…

      Eventually.

      Reply

      • king
        September 1, 2014

        Please please please do forgive her and quickly you just don’t know how fast your forgiveness will better you even more than her!!! Pls do and not a moment more to waste!!!

        Reply

  19. Lanre Swagg
    September 1, 2014

    I wont comment on ethics of disclosure or stigmatization of HIV, which are epidemics in themselves as far as Nigeria goes.
    I will highlight 2 statutory issues- one, WHO, ILO & IATA ban the use of HIV to restrict either employment or travel.
    Two, WHO has reversed its traditional protocol restricting the use of ARVs according to a certain CD4 count. That protocol was purely economic, to preserve the stocks of the drug. It is now held to be unscientific, and it is preferred to administer ARVs upon first diagnosis, regardless of CD4 count. This new protocol seeks to prevent the person’s immunity from being depleted by the virus in the first place. WHO has gone as far as recommending pre-infective or prophylactic ARVs, especially for highly sexually active people, particularly homosexuals. Whether that is reflective of prejudice, is ongoing debate.

    Dubem, you will survive, and be all you can be. There are worse things than HIV.

    Reply

    • King
      September 1, 2014

      No wonder,,,I thot so too! Phew at least I wasn’t under a rock there…

      Reply

    • Dennis Macauley
      September 1, 2014

      About VISA restrictions based on HIV status, it still goes on Inspite of the ban. The Belgian embassy for example sends you to their own doctor to do a test before your visa interview. If you are positive, kiss the visa goodbye.

      These companies take advantage of weak labour laws in this country to do whatever they like. It is even unethical and actionable to do a test without informing the subject and thus getting his consent. Labor laws are weak in this country and employers get away with a lot of things. My company operates in 24 countries of the world, but it’s only in nigeria that they get away with a lot of unwholesome labor and HR policies. Things they would not try in Kenya even!

      Reply

      • pinkpanthertb
        September 1, 2014

        In Kenya… Can you imagine.

        Reply

    • Dubem
      September 1, 2014

      *panicking* Does that mean I have to insist on medication, eh Lanre?

      Reply

      • Lanre Swagg
        September 1, 2014

        Dubem, I don’t know if you can insist- you will be confronted with official protocol. It is not clear to me that Nigerian treatment centres have changed their protocol in line with new WHO guidelines. I think privately owned treatment centres are more likely to be flexible than the govt owned ones- NGOs such as the Gede Foundation, etc. I certainly think that it is good to receive ARVs immediately so that HIV leaves no mark on one’s immunity. You can be as good as new, instead of waiting for the inevitable drop in CD4.

        Reply

  20. sensuousensei
    September 1, 2014

    Life dares the human soul at every turn, placing giant odds on the path of its endeavour. And it asks mockingly, “what are you gonna do about it?”
    Some times its the stigma of homosexuality, sometimes its poverty, sometimes its sickle cell disease and sometimes its HIV. It could be anything. And we got two inescapable choices. You can give up and destroy that last thing that prevents Circumstance from finishing you off. Its called HOPE. And so it is that after suffering many blows from Circumstance, the death blow is usually self-inflicted. The second choice is to hold on and FIGHT BACK.
    Life dares me on a daily basis and I have fought dragons and infernal monsters both outwardly and deep in my closet.
    I chose to reply its dare with a dare of my own: AS LONG AS I HAVE AIR IN MY LUNGS, I AM THE UNBROKEN! YOU CANNOT WIN!
    Upon this battle ground I have planted the seed of my dreams and I shall water it with the blood that pours from the wounds life has inflicted. Blood, sweat and tears until I reap the fruit of success. So shall I exact my vengeance upon life!

    Dubem, care to join me?

    Reply

    • pinkpanthertb
      September 1, 2014

      Wow…!

      Reply

    • king
      September 1, 2014

      Hmmm sensi love..no be only Dubem ooo I join tooo ooo!!!

      Reply

    • Dubem
      September 1, 2014

      Real powerful words said here, Sensei. i’m with you. 🙂

      Reply

    • Khaleesi
      September 1, 2014

      Sista Sensei, me sef wan join, lets make our anger into a giant fist,put on glittering pink gloves and proceed to punch and kick the shit outta life for all the bullshit she’s thrown at us!

      Reply

      • Dubem
        September 1, 2014

        Hahahahahaaa!!! Khaleesi! You’re a real joy.

        Reply

    • sensuousensei
      September 1, 2014

      Love you guyz!

      Reply

  21. Dubem
    September 1, 2014

    I considered answering you guys individually against your comments. but I looked inside my bag and the ‘Thank yous’ were in limited supply. Lol. I just want to say to the entire KD House: ‘Thank you so very much!” You guys are unbelievably awesome, and such a strong support group. I feared and wondered what the reaction will be to this story. But I was encouraged to go ahead and tell it. Now I have, I don’t regret it. And that is because of the amazing empathy I have gotten here. I’m still living one day at a time, but it’s kind words like these that make me determined to live each day to its fullest. Thanks again, guys. Really.

    Reply

    • simba
      September 1, 2014

      As a professional in health field and having ran special clinics. ARVs as obtained in the west differs from here. Our Govt, doesn’t spend much on it so it’s limited. Even PEPs are rarely given in this damm country just cus of drug availability. But Dubem, u don’t have to be scared, like I said in my earlier comment, we have a research ongoing to evaluate the efficacy of initiating ARTs immediately or waiting for the earlier protocols. Dubem thru pinky u can reach me anytime u have issues regarding this matter. Cheers. Simba MD.

      Reply

  22. Positive Dude
    September 1, 2014

    I totally relate to your story. I’ve been positive for about a year now and still no Arv yet.. just a couple of immuno modulator. Stay strong and if you feel down (which will happen once in a while ) call ur Bassey. i also have my Bassey (His name is John and happens to be my BF). You can’t die except God says so. If you feel like giving up, remember people like us who have been there and are still strong.

    Reply

  23. Andrevn
    September 1, 2014

    I know what it feels to be on a sudden decline to the very heart of hell…yesterday marked my 2months of being positive…i still have my grey moments(my term for depression n despair) but i’ve learned to pick up myself from the ashes rising like a new born pheonix stronger and better each time. I do have my Bassey(a lecturer friend in my school) for now non of my family members know… I’ve set my 25th birthday as a duo coming out day… I for one know HIV is not a death sentence so i expend more energy doing the things i love n more… Living each day in giant strides is what keeps me…….. Thank you Dubem for sharing n surely you are not and will never be alone….SHALOM.

    Reply

  24. xpressivejboy
    September 1, 2014

    Totally relate with your story…it sounds so familiar and I must say I’ve had my share of life’s battles…and when the challenges of life come smiling at me all I do is smile back; I have no doubt you’ll be fine. I’m sure you’ll hit the zenith of your God-given potentials. Love You, Bro.

    Reply

  25. dominic
    September 1, 2014

    Brings back memories. I passed the zenith bank test in 2011 and did the medicals at Q life centre in VI. Before the test we were told of the HIV test being part of it and that if we tested positive we would be called for counselling infact we were made to sign a form authorising them to conduct the test. About 5 days later I got an sms that I should come for ‘evaluation’ of the result of my medicals. God!!! That night I did not sleep much, I was troubled as I had only become actively involved in gay sex about a year from then. But when I got there they told us(with the rest of the people called) that we had high BP and they needed to recheck. Well the BP didn’t come down because of the fear. Zenith Bank is one of the worse banks to work for by the way, they discriminate on all levels. My dear Dubem, thanks for sharing. Above all, I’m happy that you are back on your feet. Much love bro!

    Reply

    • xpressivejboy
      September 2, 2014

      Same re-evaluation happened to my cousin. She was re-invited to Q-Life Family Clinic for another check on her BP and luckily she scaled through this time. She got the offer with KPMG. But if the fellow were to be HIV+ be rest assured that he/she wouldn’t have been called back to be re-examined. *Speaking from an insider’s feed* That’s how the discrimination has heightened to. Dom, I’m glad you’ve moved on…they’re just not worth the stress or worries.

      Reply

  26. Chuck
    September 1, 2014

    Could I suggest that you tell people of your status if you want to hookup with them? It’s only fair, even if you intend to use a condom.

    Reply

    • xpressivejboy
      September 2, 2014

      #Easier Said.

      Reply

      • pinkpanthertb
        September 2, 2014

        LOL!

        Reply

      • Chuck
        September 2, 2014

        @xressiveboy, so you’d rather he lets other guys have sex with a positive guy without knowing the risks they are taking? That’s callous.

        Reply

      • xpressivejboy
        September 2, 2014

        Chuck, read between the lines. He’s of a free moral agent to, or not to, tell whoever of his status. He already is too careful not to have unprotected sex in order not to introduce another strain of the virus into his system. He has the consciousness of doing it protected…it’s not in the TELLING but what comes out of it; the deeper depression, the avoidance, the gossips, the side-laughters, and the list is endless. He already has a lot to deal with…so, save him the extra pain.

        Reply

  27. @Eden_nude
    September 2, 2014

    OMG! Dunno why I actually skipped reading this as at the time Panther sent me the link, but for whatever reason, I remain grateful over this piece and to Dubem, thank God you’ve gathered enough courage to move on!

    Well, I lost two of my parents to AIDS (that was then though) and been the last kid in the family who was just about 1+ when dad left, and 11 when mom left, everyone had eyes wide open on my status(even though I tested negative after mom’s discovery of her status) then.

    Infact, I can’t tell stories, just that I’ve not gone for anyother screening since then and becomes afraid anytime the topic is been discussed. Dubem just arouse that aspect of my life!!! Gush!

    Reply

    • pinkpanthertb
      September 2, 2014

      You lost both your parents to AIDS? That’s quite sad

      Reply

  28. Missy
    September 2, 2014

    You are man, Dubem.

    Reply

  29. Lothario
    September 2, 2014

    Dubem…it is well! Just be happy, you’re a better man because of this, undoubtedly. Stay strong!

    Reply

  30. tikky20
    September 2, 2014

    Thank you so much,Dubem, for sharing. Very relatable. Have a friend who had the same plight as you, and for 3years now, with a skyrocketting CD4 and low viral load, is still not eligible for HAART. And nothing whatsoever has changed about his life, or rather he’s living to the fullest now. Used to be a very shy person, now he can stand boldly in public and talk. Infacet,a lot of positive changes has emanated from his story, and its all good. God bless you Dubem for sharing this, and I pray for strenght and grace for you all through life.

    Reply

  31. Neon
    September 3, 2014

    ….I hate myself for not taking time to settle down and read this piece. My busy schedule kept me away and has taken toll. *sigh* I must confess, this is an award winning piece. The emotions, the thrill, the fall and the resurgence. I’m not here to talk about medical ethics and stigma.
    The heart is stronger than we think. It can go through anything, and even when we think it can’t, it finds its way to still push on. Sometimes we wanna runaway, ain’t got patience, but the heartbeat goes on. It signifies theirs life. Dubem! I don’t know you, but I already love and appreciate you. Your story (although days after it was published) kept me up thinking about life in a wholistic perspective. To Panther, I say thank you for understanding and knitting such an experience into art. Love you both to glitter. God bless KD. #NoH8

    Reply

    • xpressivejboy
      September 3, 2014

      I LOVE THIS COMMENT.

      Reply

  32. SCR
    September 4, 2014

    Hi,
    I’m in a similar fix, my BF who I love so much tested positive two months ago (from previous encounters before we met). We’ve had plenty of unprotected sex before the test…
    I did my own test but returned negative but waiting to do another confirmatory test next month (3 months window period) to be sure I haven’t gotten infected. We love each other so much, I know he didn’t mean for it to happen and we’re still together!

    Reply

    • pinkpanthertb
      September 4, 2014

      You two should just be careful with each other. Even when you test positive (if you do, I mean), you should still be careful. However its good you love each other.

      Reply

      • @SCR
        September 4, 2014

        We’re very careful… Haven’t even had sex since his test and don’t plan to till my second test and he’s on a property medication plan (which has been frustrating due to our messed up system).

        Reply

      • pinkpanthertb
        September 4, 2014

        Quite a sad situation. But if you need to talk, lemme know. There’s a kitodiariesian who dates a HIV guy and is in the medical profession. I can refer you to him for informed guidance.

        Reply

  33. @SCR
    December 23, 2014

    Hey Pinky!
    So out of fear I’ve not been able to go for another test until yesterday when I decided to get it over with before the end of the year.
    It came out Negative! I was so confused and happy, told my BF yesterday he almost broke into tears… He was so happy because over the months we had prepared for the worst. He’s on meds now and should be fine all things being equal.
    Just thought to come share here…

    Reply

    • pinkpanthertb
      December 23, 2014

      That is awesome. Congrats. Maybe you can write the story for us?

      Reply

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