But with the disease comes the stigma, one that its so hard to escape from.
Even family and friends would in some ways display their fear of your situation no matter how well informed you think they are or should be.
HIV AIDS is frightening to say the least to the average Nigerian and once infected the victims are almost immediately distanced.
Thus a Nigerian living with HIV you would have to deal with stigmatization as well as depression.
There is no two ways about that. in Nigeria, the moment news of a persons HIV positive status starts spreading, the person is almost immediately made to feel like an outcast.
Its a social taboo in Nigeria. And as if being HIV positive is not enough setback in life, the people around through their actions would definitely compound the effect.
If you are a Nigerian living with HIV you would have to accept the following crucial facts.
- Live with the stigma and discrimination and hopefully grow a thick skin.
- Understand that your life is now dependent on your drugs. Don’t ever stop taking them.
- You can still get married, have a sex life and have kids who are HIV free
- Don’t think about spreading the disease so others can suffer. Such wickedness would not help matters.
- There are others like you and together you can build your own community where mutual understanding is plentiful.
- Do not wallow in self pity. Overcome every such moments with mantras like “all is well”.
- Know that you are not alone. You still have those who would always love you no matter what.
Being a Nigerian living with HIV should not be a death sentence on your head. Live life tothe full no matter what.