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Umar’s deadly fever 2; a touching piece with priceless lessons on HIV transmission

Dr. Akin-Onitolo A.

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Continued from part 1

15th June
They still have not found what is causing my baby’s fever. And it has started again. This means he gets another course of antibiotics. When will this be over? The poor boy has refused to be calmed by my petting. Even his grandma can’t seem to cheer him. I should not be angry, at least it’s not HIV like this skinny woman’s child has. The nurses now wear two pairs of gloves to give her drugs, I heard the matron caution them at their morning meeting yesterday. Everyone on the ward knows too. Some mothers have even stopped giving them things like they did before. I hope that her husband will show up this time.
My mother went to speak to the matron to move her grandson away from the child with HIV. When I told her how wrong it was, she labelled me a careless mother. But I know HIV does not fly across a room, it is transmitted by touching infected blood or sleeping with an infected person or during delivery. I clearly remember how terrified I was when I had to take the test during Umar’s pregnancy.

Many scary thoughts swarmed my mind as it was my first time. But I met a very kind lady who put me through a brief on HIV and AIDS, when she was through, I felt like I was ready to take on the world whether I emerged positive or negative. Thank God sha that it was negative. If it had been otherwise, I wonder what eye I would have used to tell my husband to go and get tested. Anyway, there is nothing I can say or do to make mama listen.

P.S.: How HIV is NOT transmitted

You cannot get infected with HIV through the following activities; 

• Kissing, whether deep kissing or a simple peck on the cheek. Well, except there is exchange of blood in the process which is quite unlikely,
• Sharing utensils like spoons, cups, etc.,
• Mosquito bites,
• Sharing a swimming pool or toilet,
• Coughing or sneezing,
• Shaking hands, and
• A lap dance

 

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Dr. Akin-onitolo A. is a graduate of the University of Lagos whose mission is to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) using health promotion and improved health literacy. She is an MDCN (Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria) certified doctor who had her elective at King's College London. Hugely interested in travel, meeting people and generally being creative, reading and writing fiction are a few hobbies you could find her engaged in during her spare time. Catch up with her on Twitter @Akinonitolo and Instagram @t_onitolo