THE SECOND CHANCE

THE SECOND CHANCE

My hands shook as I typed this, and several times, my phone almost fell out from the grasp of my nerveless fingers. I was feeling a bit tired and worn out from the day’s stress. It was 12:19am, a day after World AIDS Day. I should have been sleeping, have to be up for work by 5am. What was I doing up?

Some hours back, I was in the hospital somewhere close to my house. I sat in that empty waiting room for ages. African Magic was on, but I wasn’t interested. My life was flashing before my eyes, and it felt like I was experiencing a bad dream. My head, joints, muscles – they were all aching, my eyes were heavy, and my feet felt numb. I felt sharp pain almost everywhere in my body; whether the pain was real or imagined, I didn’t have the presence of mind to find out.

I was weak.

Then a door opened and through the doorway walked a slender-framed doctor. He walked up to me, stoned-face as he approached. Watching him, I knew in that moment that my life was over. The thought of suicide fleeted through my mind. Should I walk in front of a moving vehicle? Take rat poison when I get home? Maybe toss back a bunch of pills? The thoughts of the easiest way to go crowded my mind.

The doctor stopped in front of me and handed me a blue sheet. I earnestly took the paper and read the results.

***

A few days earlier, I had oral sex with Mark. He was young, new to Lagos, and was getting a lot of attention from gay guys around, attention he seemed to be reveling in it, at least according to a cursory glance I took of his messages when I once had his phone. He must have felt like celebrity, what with the way peeps trooped to his inbox. I wasn’t sure how much sex he was having, but from what I read from his phone, I knew he was having lots of it with random people.

We had oral sex, and as I worked his dick in my mouth, he came. But during the blowjob, I noticed some bumps around the edge of his dick. After the oral, I asked him about the bumps, and he didn’t know how they’d come about. I quickly dismissed this as irrelevant.

You see, the thing is I am a carefree, nonchalant addict of bareback sex, something I even happen to be vocally unashamed of. I have sex like I perspire with it. I could go with three different guys in a day. In a month, I could have done fifteen guys. I was a sex addict. My life was on a downward spiral because of my carnal excesses. I could see it but I wasn’t disciplined enough to control it. I just wasn’t ready to do anything about it. In all my life of having sex, I’d only used a condom once, and even then, it’d gotten torn. And this isn’t even because I do not have access to protection. I have packs of condoms at home, but I never reach for them; they just lie there in a drawer, neatly placed, unused.

So back to when I had oral sex with Mark on Friday. On Monday, after I got back from work, I called my ‘boyfriend’ Drover over for some sex. The next morning, I woke up to a very distinct, painfully sore throat. I dismissed this discomfort, but it remained till Wednesday, even though it was less distressing by this time. That Wednesday, I had the day off, and I spent it shagging with some friend with benefit, a fuck-fest that was raw and exuberant. By Wednesday evening, the sore throat was considerably gone. Regardless, I went to a pharmacy to get some medication.

On Thursday, I woke up to a fever and some weakness. I was on my way to work when I read the article by Bobby here on Kito Diaries about how some guy he’d encountered had had sore throat, fever and aching joints. And it hit me! Maybe, just maybe, I had HIV!

Trying not to be too alarmed, I got onto the internet to do some reading on HIV. I Googled the affliction and its symptoms, and discovered that I was exhibiting about three out of the seven possible early signs of HIV. I was restless and nearing distraughtness throughout the day. I told myself I needed to get tested, to be sure. I hadn’t done a HIV text in over a year, a period of time in which I’d shagged an overwhelming number of guys. I was too scared of what I’d find out to go have a test.

On Saturday, I started having joint pains. But by Sunday, my health stress got relieved. And because I was fine, I told myself there was nothing to fear. All was well, right?

Wrong.

On Monday morning, my health stress was back, and I recognised that I was now exhibiting about five out of the seven symptoms of HIV. At this point, I was convinced I had contracted the disease. At this time, I was dialoguing with a friend, updating him on what was going on with me. He urged me to just go for a test and get it over with. But I was too scared.

Then Tuesday came. Tuesday was World AIDS Day. I was at work that day with my ailing condition, one which seemed to get worse. By noon time, I was incredibly weak. I couldn’t function properly because everything that was part of my body seemed to ache. My joints and muscles were killing me. The sore throat was there. And I was sweating even though I felt cold. I was weak, confused, exhausted, and I was losing my memory of things that had just happened the day before.

Some clarity however came to me through all this pain. I knew this must be it. I must have had HIV for a long time, for it to get to this level at this point. This realization suddenly brought about a change in me. I became nicer to subordinates, tried smiling to everyone. I greeted everyone I happened across. And when I spoke to my brother on the phone, I was full of kind words and advice.

At the close of work, I was in a homebound bus and felt a huge wave of dizziness threaten to overcome me. I wondered if I’d already gotten to the stage of AIDS. I could almost feel the viruses working their way through my muscles and blood stream. While in the bus, I Googled HIV again, and the more I read, the more my fears were fed. I was truly exhibiting most of the symptoms now. I thought I was going to collapse as I alighted from the bus. I was also ready to get tested. I was torn between going to my workplace’s hospital, an LGBT center or some random hospital. I made a few calls to a couple of friends who provided me with info on LGBT friendly clinics I could go to. I went to one of the recommendations, but met the place closed.

And so, instead of going to another, guess what I did next. Wait for it, Religi-phobes! I went to church! I went straight to my church and engaged God in a dialogue. I talked and He listened. I beseeched Him and I made promises. I wanted to believe He was nodding His head in acquiescence. A pastor saw me at the altar and prayed for me. Thereafter, I went home.

However, I didn’t feel better emotionally. My doubts persisted. I wasn’t convinced I was okay. So I headed to a nearby hospital for a HIV test. On my way there, I began thinking about who might have infected me, but the exercise was like searching for a needle in a hay stack. I couldn’t pinpoint anyone. There had just been too many lovers, too many trysts. I began to think about those I might have infected. Depressive thoughts took over my mind, as I pondered on how I’d wasted my life and future, how I had at best added extra burdens to what life had in store for me. I could have done without this, I thought to myself. I thought about how glorious my wedding would have been, how lovely my kids would have been, I thought about how my brother would miss me and how disappointed my parents would be. I thought about many things. I imagined that this was the end of me. Then I began struggling to not get overwhelmed by my grief. I remembered the survival stories of Bobby and Temi Cole here on KD, and they gave me courage.

***

And so, here I was, opening the blue paper to read about the rest of my life. My eyes fell on the result.

HIV Negative!

I was stunned and read it again, so sure that my eyes were now playing tricks on me.

But there it was: HIV Negative.

No way! This couldn’t be. I was certain I had HIV, even thought it must have deteriorated to AIDS. I asked to be tested again. The doctor tried to tell me that it wasn’t necessary, but I insisted. The result came back the same: HIV Negative.

Then I was tested for other things and it was found out I had typhoid and malaria, amongst other minor afflictions. Not HIV. Of course, this wasn’t the end of it. I would still have to go for confirmation after three months, but the thought of not being HIV Positive at the moment filled me with great relief.

As I walked back home late in the night, physically tired and emotionally drained, it felt like I had been given a second chance. I held the paper bearing my test result to my chest like some priced asset. And I made resolutions ahead of the New Year: no more bareback sex, no more reckless lifestyle, no more irresponsibility in the name of having fun.

Written by Teflondon

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  1. Theo
    February 04, 05:48 Reply

    Wait ooo, shebi you don’t do gay guys, so how’s Mark different? #JustAsking

  2. pete
    February 04, 05:56 Reply

    Make sure you keep it up & while this may not be popular here, having sex with multiple partners should be a no-go area *hi Max*. Ensure you repeat the test after 6 months.

  3. Mr. Fingers
    February 04, 06:24 Reply

    Lmao. Tef wrote this?

    Anyway, thank God it was negative.
    Try not to get high before sex for the main time. That way u won’t forget abt making use of condoms.

  4. Kenny
    February 04, 06:44 Reply

    Hi Tef I think this should be a wake up call for you, try to act responsibly henceforth. Get tested in 3 to 6 months again.

  5. tarter
    February 04, 06:47 Reply

    what causes bumps and injuries on the penis shaft and penis generally? hello doctors, help me out here….

    • Kenny
      February 04, 06:55 Reply

      I think some of those bumps are genital warts caused by the HPV virus.

  6. #Chestnut
    February 04, 07:19 Reply

    Wow Tef, I’m really proud of u,and happy that u’ve realised that HIV is not just an urban myth.
    It’s possible that what u suffered after blowing that guy, was just a random, inconveniently-timed sore-throat…it’s also possible that u got gonorrhoea in ur throat from the encounter. Of course,in dis case,it majorly just manifests as a sore throat, without the penile/anal symptoms, so it’s easy to overlook as a random sore-throat. I’d get some antibiotics, if I were u.
    Anyway, don’t get nonchalant with ur sex-health again o; it aint worth it at all!
    (OAN: 3 guys a day? Where do u find all these ppl,biko? Do u have a Man-tree in ur backyard? Some ppl can’t even get 3 guys in a Year! Hian)

    • Teflondon
      February 04, 08:37 Reply

      Actually I have a pond were I go to cherry-pick straight human seized chocolate Hunks.

  7. Uziel
    February 04, 08:07 Reply

    Hello people. HIV isn’t the bad guy (it used to be) anymore. You have a new enemy. HPV. It’s the virus that cause warts. While it isn’t as deadly as HIV, it could be. Depending on the kind you contract, you could grow warts in your anal area, penal area or even anywhere on the body. Genital warts are more prevalent and they have strains that are so active that they over power your immune system and become out of control. Research is still being done on the virus but it’s documented that you can get HPV through ordinary skin to skin contact and oral sex.

    Now, this is what I really wanna talk about. Some strains HPV can cause orphonoeral (wrong spelling) cancer on the throat. You people should read up on it, biko.

    This is a good time to abstain from random sex and stick to one monogamous partner whose sexual history you know. Ka Chineke Mezie Okwu.

    • shuga chocolata
      February 04, 08:39 Reply

      oh my!!!, where can I kiss you for this lecture?
      I always tell peeps that I ain’t scared of HIV, not because I’m immune to it but we have HCV, HbsAG and other herpes that we should be scared off.

      we need more lectures on HPV(human papilomial virus) not sure of the spelling.

      • ken
        February 05, 20:32 Reply

        You didnt hear “stick to one partner” eh?? You are still looking for wia to kiss. Smh

    • segs
      February 04, 09:42 Reply

      Thank you darling, now I’ve learnt

  8. segs
    February 04, 08:11 Reply

    Wow lucky you teff and I don’t even know why people would have sex in this era without using condom smh

  9. Ruby
    February 04, 08:13 Reply

    Well Well…….
    Isn’t this a surprise!!!!!!
    Who woulda thunk it!!!!!!!

  10. shuga chocolata
    February 04, 08:26 Reply

    It’s nice you got tested and negative was the outcome.
    Learn your lesson and hold through to your resolution.
    Never did I believe you’d get so scared.

    Happy resolution.

  11. Magdiva
    February 04, 09:06 Reply

    At the risk of sounding like a bloody echo, hope you have learned and make the most of this second chance given to you moving forward.

    For the life of me I really cannot understand unprotected sex. Like I just don’t get it. Not saying diseases cannot be caught by other means, but please protect yourself when doing the freaky dicky. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for the rest of the world or your future ‘wife’.

    • Max 2.0
      February 04, 13:52 Reply

      You’re doing exactly what Nigerians do- assuming everyone is going to get a wife at some point..

      • Magdiva
        February 04, 14:28 Reply

        Dear Max, clearly you didn’t read the post in its entirety because it was written by Tef or in your haste to post a sarcastic response to him you missed out the part where he wrote, and I quote ” I thought about how glorious my wedding would have been and my kids would have been”.

        Secondly, you will note that I used scare / sneer quote marks when I wrote “wife”.

        Thirdly, a bit impertinent of you to ASSume that because this is a platform run by a Nigerian, about Nigerian LGBT issues that everyone on here is Nigerian.

        My2pence with a little more change today.

        • Max 2.0
          February 04, 15:11 Reply

          My comment didn’t refer to you as a Nigerian instead it referred to your comment as “doing what Nigerians do”.

          And secondly, your ” wife ” reference was a warning/advice to other people -“If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for the rest of the world or your future ‘wife”. Thats how/where my reply to you originated.

  12. z
    February 04, 09:31 Reply

    Guess i underestimated the educational benefits of Bobby’s and temi’s journals on HIV matters. I can imagine how many people were encouraged to know their status and live healthier lives. miss temi Cole’s write ups btw. Are they coming back?

  13. simba
    February 04, 09:48 Reply

    Bumps and injuries on the penile shaft could be an indication of Syphilis.. As much as I won’t downplay the health problems associated with HIV, HPV is also very common,some strains actually could cause malignancies,most common for now is Anal Cancer. IHVN currently have data of some MSM who are liable for such malignancy from HPV and currently training some of their Drs to handle it. Play safe, look for some LGBT community centers near u, make use of their health facilities..

  14. goldd1st
    February 04, 11:37 Reply

    Criously!!!! I tot HPV is just a myth…n gonorehea for person throat?…na wa….pls kip me posted ooo…..*sipping thick chocolate*

  15. Dickson Clement
    February 04, 11:38 Reply

    Human papilloma Virus (HPV) has different strains. Strains 16 and 18 have been noted as the cause of most cervical cancers in women. While most strains can cause warts, oropharyngeal cancers and cosmetic concern for sufferers, mother to child transmission and risk of difficulty in child birth can be a major health concern. I have not seen as much anal cancers or oropharyngeal cancers as I have seen cervical cancers so I can say it’s more of a sex inclined disease. It’s becoming increasingly worrisome, the rate of hepatitis infection with the ever growing rate of liver diseases and cancers. Even in the best of hands, expertise or development, liver diseases are fund consuming and prognosis ain’t satisfying.

  16. goldd1st
    February 04, 13:27 Reply

    Thanks dickson…pls keep posting more ooo

  17. Max 2.0
    February 04, 13:47 Reply

    ?????? why am I not surprised?.. ??

    • Jamie
      February 04, 14:07 Reply

      Thought I was alone…

  18. Chizzie
    February 04, 18:51 Reply

    Isn’t there like a 3 months window period after the acute stage of infection, where most generic tests can’t detect the virus?, So obviously a test done during that period will be negative. That’s why the rule of thumb is to get tested at least twice, over a 6 month interval or so…

    So Tef, it always pays to get another confirmation test.

    • Teflondon
      February 04, 19:14 Reply

      Alas! Look who my post drew out of hiatus!

      I’m sure if you read the story to the end, you will see were your suggestions were CLEARLY stated.

  19. drwesley
    February 04, 19:30 Reply

    lucky you let’s talk.. pls forward your article to my Facebook archdickon donwesley ….thanks 08024015746

  20. KingBey
    February 04, 20:30 Reply

    So you have been having bareback sex most of your sexually active life….just one case of protection which also didn’t end well and you’re HIV negative? You just have to be the cat with 99 lives. You have unprotected sex with 15 different guys in a month according to you and you’re still negative? I find this post a bit hard to believe just like any other post you have written here anyways. Lol

  21. Chizzie
    February 04, 20:31 Reply

    Oh okay. Just skimmed through it. @Teflondon

  22. KingBey
    February 04, 20:44 Reply

    But wait a minute, why will someone who always enjoys bareback sex with multiple guys suddenly have suicidal thoughts because of being HIV positive? Guy…really? You didn’t think about all these when you keep fucking around without protection? You and all these funny stories you keep posting here. I still find it a bit shocking that in this era and with all the diseases flying around, some human beings still engage in bareback sex. You are basically a carefree nymphomaniac and I’m not buying your New Year Resolution claim. Lol. Only Jesus and his troop of Angels can fix you. ???

  23. sensei
    February 05, 01:00 Reply

    I’m worried by the fact that people are still barebacking.
    What can we do about this?
    There is fire on the mountain oh!

    • Max 2.1
      February 05, 11:05 Reply

      Just like using a POS to pay for goods makes it easier to spend money because you can’t see it, HIV is invisible to the human eye too, so it makes it easier for horny people to overlook the use of protection. Its simple psychology, to humans, something you cannot see simply doesn’t exist/poses little or no threat. Except for Jesus and their religion though, they’re scared of both, but the effect of the fear quickly wears off when their subconscious tells them that God doesn’t exist, it mostly happens when we’re about to commit any of the classes of sin written in the bible, since there’s no known trauma or repercussion witnessed by you each time you commit that particular act, the brain will treat it as a normal behavior and won’t act in a way to inhibit you from doing it(meaning that you’ll keep doing it indefinitely). As humans, we are more affected by what we can see or perceive. If you’ve ever had someone close to you who died of AIDS, you’ll never bareback in your life again, because then the fear becomes real, the fear will now have a face, the sickly wraith-like figure of your dying friend.. That image will become the face of the virus, a stressor in your brain that’ll make you associate the thought of HIV with the same feeling you had during his last days.

  24. Immanuel
    February 05, 11:48 Reply

    Max. Yes Yes. Thanks for writing that.

  25. Francis
    February 06, 13:11 Reply

    Can someone write a summary of the main details regarding HPV as a post? Looks like the vaccine isn’t readily available in Naija

  26. Geeluv
    February 08, 19:10 Reply

    It is indeed a second chance….

  27. Chalant
    February 16, 16:40 Reply

    Abeg wait 6 months and go for another test,therez something called an incubation period,all viruses have incubation period,and it vary on different individual sha,6 months self is a modest range.

    #happy for yhu,i love yhur sexual vulgarity i swear,dont change ,shake the fear away ,and resume work.the world would be a dark without yhur vibrance.

  28. Jimiflex
    March 26, 00:10 Reply

    You make it sound like people with HIV are done for. Like their lives are over…

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