The HIV Test Palaver

by Nkasiobi ‘Cassy’ Okey

I and some friends were discussing yesterday about the very first time we had a HIV test and I recalled mine and burst out laughing. Umunne m na umunna m; it was not a funny something o.

That was in 2007. Cassy of the Most High was chopping work in the eyes of the carton without rubber o. Chisos! Me and one son of Belzeebub. So far no pregnancy, we were cool or so I thought. Then the HIV adverts started streaming in. I’ll put on the radio and be hearing something like “Aha m bu Nwaada Chimelumma Onyema. Ebu m nje HIV” which literally means “My name is Chimelumma Onyema. I’m HIV positive.” The television wasn’t left out either. Chineke nwanyi Umuahia eee!

My heart started pounding. I would start sweating even when there was no sun. I told my work chopper wetin dey, he said that we were covered by the blood of the lamb. Obara Hezekiah! Na elu fornication ka obara na-ekpuchi gi? Ijiot.

I started another round of fasting. My prayer points changed. Lord, if you deliver me from this dungeon, I’ll never near man again. Lord, if my result turn out to be negative, I’ll dance and sing prayers to you with a fat, white broiler chicken. What didn’t I say? My radio and my TV went on strike for the next 2 days. I became spiritual.

I prayed, fasted, used better padlock to padlock my ngwongwo and went for my very first HIV test. Another wahala come burst. I went on a Saturday afternoon around 1pm to run the test at Mother of Christ Specialist hospital in Enugu and after the daughter of Jezebel asked me few questions and collected my blood sample, as it was in Heart to Heart Foundation and not express test, she looked me straight in the eyes and asked me to come back on Monday by 10 am to pick my result. Blood of Hezekiah! How would I pull through the next 48 hours bikonu? Lekwa m, lekwa high blood pressure.

Fast forward to the Almighty Monday morning, I got to the hospital and they were still doing morning devotion. Jesus! Who did I offend? Why was this happening to me? I held myself, sweating nonstop till they finished praying. I got to the lab and then the assistant laboratory attendant kept on passing me by repeatedly with one white envelope o. Lekwa problem wearing stilettos. She’d pass, enter one room, come out, passed by me again. I even saw pity in her eyes as she looked at me.

After some minutes, she came out again and called me to her table. I asked her where I could pee. She showed me. I got to the toilet and told God that I still owed him the broiler. Would he put me to shame or collect the broiler jejely? No response. I said okay na. Let’s go there.

My brothers and sisters in the Lord, as she wan talk plenty talk, I kuku collected my result and told her that NEPA people were going to come to our area that morning to disconnect us if I don’t rush and go and pay.

She now said “Congratulations, you are NEGATIVE!”

I gave my village people the congratulations o, used the broiler and cooked for little kids. Gave God cash equivalent. Find better welder to solder my ngwongwo… And had absolute peace of mind.

How was your first HIV test experience like dears?

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