There is this lady in her late 20s who grew up in an African household. We Africans know how that goes, your parents don’t really speak to you about dating, making the right choice, red flags to look out for in a person or relationship, and so on. They just make sure you stay away from the opposite sex until you are 30 and single and they start asking you—how far? (Maybe 30 is a bit of a stretch, but you know what I mean).
Image courtesy of Unsplash
Now, this young lady had such a background, her parents were very strict, all they told her to do was focus on school and work. When she became an adult, she then lacked the necessary tools to navigate a relationship successfully and fell for the first guy who said hello to her. The guy was a sweet talker, he saw fresh meat and wanted to have his cake and eat it. Since the lady grew up in a Christian home, she did not want to have sex outside of marriage and communicated that the guy.
Guy was cool with it—my dear you don’t have to worry about that, it is you I love, so he said. As their relationship evolved, she had to travel out of the country for 12 months for work. They still decided to maintain a relationship; after all, there was no mountain high enough to separate their love. Then the grooming began.
Our lady in question noticed that anytime they had conversations, the guy would always talk about how he misses her and how he can’t wait to have her. He was subtle in his grooming, he often followed up the statements with—but I am willing to wait, I don’t want to force you to do anything you don’t wanna do. She will then hang up after their talk and start thinking about the seeds he planted in her head, thus they began to grow. All she knew was—sex before marriage was wrong, but she never really learned why, her worth, and how to stand for what she believed. Hence she began to take this bait, hook, line, and sinker.
Then it was time for her to go home for a break and she communicated to him that she was coming home and will like to spend some time with him before she goes to see her family. She also mentioned that she felt it was time for them to have sex. “Ah, sister, are you sure?” He asked her, “I don’t want you to do, what you don’t wanna do.” “Babe, don’t worry about it, I am ready.” She answered him.
So the plan was for them to get tested for HIV and share their results with each other. The lady had her test done in the country where she was, got her results and called him all excited:
“Hello, babe, I got my results back and it is negative. I will scan it and send it to your email.”
“Wow, that’s great!” He replied.
“Okay, have you done yours yet?” She asked him.
“Not yet, I feel embarrassed to go. My doctors would ridicule me, they would say I always get tested and the results come out negative every time.” He answered.
A bit thrown off by his statement she responded, “oh, ok. If you say so. But try and get it done before I get there.”
“I will.” He said back to her.
The time for her to go home came, and she was all excited! She was going to see her family after a little while, and also get it on with her man. She lied to her parents that she was only coming for one week, and arrived a week earlier to the date she gave them, so she could enjoy some time with her boyfriend. When she got to his place, she asked him again about the HIV test, and he told her that he does the test all the time, and it comes out negative, so she had absolutely nothing to worry her pretty head about. She bit further into the bait—hook, line, and sinker.
That week was spent with them exploring each other, it was her first time, so he showed her the ropes.
Many months passed and this time around she was back in her country at her office. Her organization had planned a health week all week, and she did not participate in any of their shenanigans until she saw her colleague with a goody bag she was interested in.
“What is in there,” she asked her searching through the bag.
“I got it from downstairs, you should go get yourself one.” Her colleague replied.
When she got downstairs, she was informed that she had to take part in some activities before getting a goody bag. One of the activities was getting tested for HIV. In her mind’s eye, she thought—I don’t need to get tested again, but anyway I would do so for that stupid bag.
Here she goes with an attitude to the testing booth, scrolling away on social media. She stretches out her hand for them to prick her finger, and do the test, while she was distracted on her phone.
“Madam, would you mind if I repeat the test?” the technician asked her.
She immediately put away her phone and wondered why the test had to be repeated, but she obliged. “Yes, go ahead.”
Blood was taken out again, and this time she was hit with the most horrifying news she never dreamt of getting—“I am sorry madam, you tested positive for HIV.” She was dumbfounded.
As she gathered her thoughts together she called her boyfriend to give him the bad news. He just answered—“I am busy at the moment, I would call you back.”
Thinking this to all be a mistake, she called her health practitioner and made an appointment to see him, she thought that if he drew blood from her the proper way and had it tested, the result would be different. It wasn’t. She was HIV positive, after having sex for the first time.
Are her parents to blame for not going the distance and teaching her about dating, what to look out for, and signals to pay attention to? Is it enough for parents to tell their kids—don’t have sex! Without the why behind their statement? Thinking back on my journey, my parents did not talk to me about relationships. My mother only said—“please don’t do what would disappoint me.” And that was it. I had to learn about sex and relationships from friends, movies, and church. Thank God for church!
I understand that our parents were raised in a different era, and maybe topics on sex and relationships were not discussed in their households. But they learned on the job and should have been more open. This is something I know would change with my kids when I have them. I can’t have my heart stomped multiple times, and not instill in them the values which came from the process.
For those of you who would send me a message asking if the story was a true-life one, yes it is. Our subject has been living with HIV for the past seven years, the relationship of course ended with that boyfriend and she found love along the way. She is currently married. I will include the video below, where she shared her story.
Video courtesy of Nozibele Qamngana YouTube's Channel
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About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian, writer, and content creator on Letstalknationblog.com. She is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Consumed by her love for writing and desire to effect change, she launched her online platform––Let’s Talk Nation––to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations that would make a difference around the world.
Most of her writing has been influenced by her time spent in America, where she lived for about 11 years. Also, she lived in Nigeria and South Korea and currently loves traveling the world while learning about other fascinating cultures. You can find her on all social media platforms with @eviidoghor.