HIV? Me? No, I am married! (13)

  “It’s okay,” I hurried to reassure her. ”Noooo,” she screamed. ”Mum, tell me that’s not true.” ”Its true.” ”How could that be?” Aka asked at us both, bewildered, ”….does it mean…Daddy?” She stopped in confusion.

”I really don’t know,” Nma answered her unspoken question. ”What’s going to happen now?” Aka started crying.

”I know it’s a shock,” I said gently. ”But things have changed a lot and HIV is no longer the death sentence it used to be.With treatment, many people live normal lives with HIV.”

”Everybody will find out and we will be ostracised,” said Aka. It appeared she hadn’t heard a word I’d said.HIV, Black women health

”No one needs to find out,” Nma spoke sharply to her daughter. ”You are not to tell a soul, promise me.”

”But Mum..!’ ”Promise me NOW!”

”OKAY, OKAY!”

”I only wanted you to know because I have no one else to tell,” Nma’s voice broke and she sobbed quietly.

It was as if seeing her mum cry sobered Aka. Wiping her own tears, she tentatively reached out to Nma and gave her a hug. ”Its okay, Mum,” she whispered.

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HIV? Me? No, I am married! (12)

HIV, Black women.”You knew all this while,” I had exclaimed.

”I bought an HIV testing kit off the internet and the result came back positive.”

”When was this?”

”About a month ago.”

”I see.” But I didn’t see at all.

”So why were you reluctant for me to do the test?” I asked, remembering how he had flared up when I mentioned testing for HIV.

”I don’t know,” he shrugged. He put his head in his hands and sighed heavily. We were both silent for a moment.

”We need to do another test to confirm and check your viral load. The viral load tells us how many of the HIV viruses are circulating in your system and helps us decide if you need to start treatment now or wait a bit.”

”Okay.” He rubbed his fingers across his eyes. I noticed for the first time some gray strands of hair at his temples.

”And your wife…”

He looked up. ”What about her?”

”She needs to be tested as well.”

He sighed again heavily.

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HIV? Me? No, I am married! (11)

Adaeze Ifezulike

Black couple

Dike returned for his blood test result a week later. He’d called the receptionist for his result but, due to our surgery policy, this could not be given over the phone and he had been asked to make an appointment to see a doctor.

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”How is work?” I asked when he sat down. He looked the picture of prosperity with his well-cut brown suit and an expensive tie to match. “I must get my husband one of those ties for his birthday,” I thought as my mind strayed momentarily.

”It’s going very well. I have just been promoted and my company is sending me to Angola for a few weeks.”

“Lucky him,” I thought…

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HIV? Me? No, I am married! (10)

Nma came with her daughter Aka to see me a few days later. I was surprised as I thought she might be coming with Dike as mentioned at the last meeting.
I had no idea if she had told her daughter about her diagnosis.
As usual she looked immaculate and so did her daughter.

”Hello, come and have a seat” I smiled at them.
”How can I help you today?” I asked once the pleasantries were done.
”I would like you to tell my daughter about my sickness,” Nma said.
I gave her a questioning look.

”Yes, go ahead” she read my unspoken question.
”What’s wrong with my mother?” Aka asked with a frown on her face.
I hesitated uncertainly.
”I..Nma could I have a word in private with you?” I asked gently with an apologetic glance at Aka.
”There’s no need,” Nma replied with a hint of irritation ”Just tell her, please.”

Aka spoke up ”Tell me what? Tell me what?” she repeated with a slightly raised voice as I hesitated.
”Your mother has been unwell,” I started carefully.
”Yes I know..”
”We have run a number of tests and we found out that she has a viral infection..”
”Viral infection? What’s that?”
”I have got HIV,” Nma declared, impatient at my delay.

”What?” Aka screamed and instantly backed away from her mother.

#17. A Lover’s Sonnet

We at the Sexual Wellbeing Network are pleased to follow Juliet Umeh of the Whole Woman Network (‘Kego Onyido) on her NaPoWriMo journey. Enjoy her lovely poems!!

Juliet 'Kego's World of Floetry; Explore! Experience! Enjoy!

Day 1. NaPoWriMo- Celebrate Poetry, All Month Long!

So I’ve taken a leap of faith and I’ve decided to participate in National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo), so help me God! 🙂

April is National Poetry Writing Month! NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month, is back! To participate in NaPoWriMo 2014, write a poem each day this month.  NaPoWriMo is an annual project in which participants write a poem each day in April. It unfolds in the tradition of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, held in November) and motivates, inspires, and engages poets of all levels, genres, and backgrounds. NaPoWriMo was founded by Cheri Lucas Rowlands. 

Poem: A Lover’s Sonnet

I seek you and long for you as I would the very best parts of me

Let’s discover this rhythm between us, and learn its sacred dance

Take me in, deeper and deeper still, into your mysterious trance

I feel you, always, in…

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Contraception- to ignore it or tackle it…that is the question!

Its one of those issues that confront women at one time of their lives or another. It just wont go away! Atleast not while sex continues 😉

Many ignore it at their peril. Others barely tolerate it as a necessary evil.

Where do you stand?

Consider my discussion with Amina below (name changed to protect patient’s confidentiality).

Amina looked at me, her eyes filled with tears.

“I need your help, doctor, I’m pregnant again.” She paused as though the fact still amazed her, as if she was hearing the news for the first time.

I waited patiently as she fought with her emotions. When she started to speak again, the words tumbled out of her in a rush.

“It’s my fifth pregnancy, doctor… we had planned to stop… we really can’t afford another baby… I don’t have a job and my husband’s company is making people redundant so we are not sure of his job either…”

She grabbed the tissue I held out to her and dashed it to her eyes.

“I feel terrible. I had an abortion just four months ago.

“It’s… We… I just can’t have another baby.” The tears overflowed again.

When the storm had calmed, I gently enquired what contraception she was using.

“We use condoms… Sometimes.”

“At other times?”

Silence.

And then: “Nothing,” she confessed.

“I just didn’t think it would happen again so soon, doctor.”

The statistics speak for themselves!

Consider the fact that in 2012, in England and Wales, 49% of black women having an abortion had a previous abortion. This is well above the national recurrent abortion average of 36%.

Black women are ignoring contraception with resulting serious consequences. Unplanned pregnancies, soaring abortion rates, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis and other sexually transmitted infections continue to rule the day.

We must stop and take stock of where we are, Black sisters. Together let’s explore our issues and begin to make changes that will bear fruit.

understanng contraception

buy nowCLICK HERE TO GET IT ON AMAZON

A challenge to All Women of Child Bearing Age.

I live in UK so as expected, my findings on abortion in black women are based on UK figures. But this news was a confirmation to me that abortion rates are high among black women even in the US!
Consider the news below:

“Data from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reveals that black women had more abortions than live births in 2012.

In a report titled “Summary of Vital Statistics 2012, The City of New York,” black women not only had the highest rate of abortions but they also topped the chart with the highest number of pregnancies and miscarriages as well, surpassing all other racial groups.

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As far as pregnancy terminations, black children who were aborted comprised 42.4 percent of the total number of abortions in New York City. In 2012, out of 73,815 abortions in the city, 31,328 black babies were aborted.

Continue reading

“Understanding Contraception” is Amazon’s Best-seller in three categories!!!

Have you read ”Understanding Contraception”? Hear what others are saying about the new book ”Understanding Contraception: A guide for Black Ladies”

Get informed and have a laugh along the way!

”Understanding Contraception” is Amazon’s Bestseller in three categories!!!

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WOW!!

It is such an interesting, easy read and funny book too. I see this book placed in schools and university libraries. It’s such valuable information that people don’t like talking about except when they are in trouble. – Placida Acheruo Brand Visibility, Marketing and Monetization Strategist at Coaching 4 Excellence

Understanding Contraception: A guide for Black ladies fills a major gap in knowledge and should be made widely available to women from all walks of life both in the UK and all over the world. – Naana Otoo-Oyortey MBE Executive Director, FORWARD (Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development) 

If one was writing the essential and desirable characteristics for a job as “Sexual well-being promoter for Black women”, Dr Ifezulike’s experience would provide the model description. This book will teach you about fertility control and infectio prevention by wrapping sexual and reproductive facts with real-life stories from Dr Adaeze’s caseload. -Dr Susie Logan MB ChB MD (comm.) MRCOG MFSRH Consultant Gynaecologist National University Hospital  Singapore Formerly Consultant in Sexual & Reproductive Medicine NHS Grampian Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

View this awesome review by the amazing Whole Woman Network team.

Buy your copy now. Happy reading!!

understanding contraception

buy nowCLICK HERE TO GET IT ON AMAZON