Day 3. Be the Cure

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                It is bad enough that people are dying of AIDS, but no one should die of ignorance.

                                                                                        ~Elizabeth Taylor.

This statement within it self is a true and I experienced this first hand. A few months ago a really good friend of mine said to me in confidence that he believed he contracted AIDS after having unprotected sex. Although I have attended workshops, and seminars regarding the topic, I was speechless and everything I had learned at that instance vanished for a few seconds.
I did not think in my wildest dreams I would be confronted with a situation like that so close to home. I regained my composure and asked him if he got tested, he sadly respond “no” telling me that he “knew his body” and there were obvious changes. I told him, the only way he would know whether he had it or not was to go and get tested. He told me that he was afraid to go and do it because he did not know how he would handle a positive test result.

I then told him I would go with him to the National H.I.V and AIDS center in the Bahamas and will take the test myself to make him feel a bit more comfortable. I really don’t know what possessed me to say that but after that my mind started to play tricks on me and I started thinking what if I got tested and my result came back positive. Wow what a scary thought!

Through it all we went together to get tested where the staff at the center were really professional and efficient. The nurse on duty took us in a private room, sat us down and talked to us. With her friendly personality and bright smile She me feel at home and I am sure my friend did as well. After going over the details with us we were separated and each allowed to take the AIDS test. My heart raced like the winning horse at the Kentucky Derby afterwards waiting on the fifteen minutes results to be completed.

Then came the moment of truth, I was called back into the room and told my results, when I heard it was negative I was so happy I almost shouted in that room. Once I exited the room, I could see the look of suspense and fear written all over my friend’s face. I told him not to worry and that everything will be fine. When he was called into the room, I got anxious after a few minutes passed and he did not come out. All I saw next was when he burst through the door leading to the waiting area with a smile the length of a rainbow. His countenance was bright and I saw a look in his eyes of sheer excitement.

We both looked at each others test results, and shared a few laughs about our frightening experience. I encourage as many persons as possible to know their status and get tested. There is help. If I did not say to my friend I would go along and get tested he said he would not have gone and get tested on his own. Let us encourage our friends to abstain, but if they can not then let us encourage them to protect themselves. Let’s take time to care and join in the fight!

Leonardo

Bahamas

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