Is HIV an African problem?-it is universal.Even though,Africa has been highly affected.
Surprisingly,majority of Africans,and Kenyans,remain yet to be tested.It is scary to think that one may turn out to be positive.It surely is-but can be taken care of.When testing becomes mandatory,especially with weighing down symptoms already in place-management is still possible.More difficult to handle and patients then undergo lots of physical and psychological pain.Their loved ones are hurt emotionally and economically.
I know our Voluntary Counselling and Testing Centers still have a long way to go.In many cases the Counsellors are overwheled with the number of clients and so they are like-ggghhhrhrrrrrr! There are more good ones even though.
I have personally undergone terrible Counselling sessions-one of the reasons that prompted me to train as a Counsellor myself.I have gone through sessions that make you leave more weighed down than you came in.Especially when we did not know each other-Counselor and client on one-on-one.
You are made to feel guilty-and given "terms and conditions" from nowhere.
I did not mean to complain.I am just preparing all of us to be ready for anything,with the aim of getting the end result-positive or negative.From here we will have been "healed"one step.Is it not more traumatising not to know your status and having to ask youself and guess everyday with no definite answer? It is?
The bottom line is: We all need to get tested.After this we will have a healthier Kenya.When we begin our medications early,deaths and sicknesses will be kept in check.
I would love to urge all of us to exchange information.If there is a clinic that you love in your region and would love to encourage others to go there for testing when they ask.If there is a Counsellor ( like me and many others ) that you could recommend.If there is helpful info on prevention and treatment.
The challenge is: Have we tested yet? If the answer is no-the best option is to do it now,along with our loved ones.
Whatever the result,it will be a new journey.The steps will be more sure.Above all else,let us live in solidarity as we fight against HIV and AIDS.
With Kenyan love, Leah.