World AIDS day is hitting home hard this year. For many years I have known about HIV/AIDS and I have known of people who were living with the virus openly as well as people who have died from it. Yet, nothing prepared me for the shock and trauma my family had to go through in the past 3 months.
My eldest brother has been living with HIV for a few years now, but in utter denial. As you know, being in denial can lead to ignorance and the phrase ‘ignorance is bliss’ does not apply in this case. For a longtime he lived normally, neglecting his health untill it completely deteriorated. He had been refusing help from my step mother and father, but eventually they had to intervene against his will. He got admitted into hospital and I am glad to say he is recovering. He is also being treated for TB.
Many times it is hard to relate to a situation that is far from you, but having my brother go through this was an eye opener for me. We have HIV/AIDS thrown into our faces so often that we eventually become tired from hearing about it and ignorant towards it. This world AIDS Day I want to encourage you not to take chances with your health. Know your status and save your loved ones the trauma of seeing your health deteriorate because you didn’t take care of yourself.
I owe many thanks to Pastor John Allen from the International Community Christian Church in Pretoria for all his support and prayers throughout this time.
Please help us pray that my brothers’ health continues improving so that he can be a father to his son.
Let’s continue the discussion in the comments and on twitter. I am @richmondsajini.
Do you have any HIV/AIDS stories of your own or of someone who you know?
Are you getting tested?