Tuesday, 3 November 2015

STIs: HOW SAFE ARE YOU?




Yole is a 28 year old patent medicine dealer. I don't particularly know her but I recognize her face as her shop is located on the same street as the hospital. Last Monday, as consultations began she was called in. When I looked up, I was quite astonished to see her. Usually hers is a busy place.
Most patients presenting to the hospital from nearby have patronized her services at one point or the other. She read the suprised expression on my face and shifted in her seat. That fateful morning, she presented to the clinic with complaints of fever and lower abdominal pains(this is not the main gist though). In the course of history taking, I enquired about her sexual history and her response like most others got me thinking for a few days.
Yole presently cohabits with her boyfriend who works at one of the flow stations belonging to an oil company. Seven months ago, she found out she was pregnant. After several attempts to abort the pregnancy, she ended up with complications necessitating an evacuation at a hospital in order to save her life. Two months ago, she noticed some discharge on her pants with lower abdominal pains. She deceided to self medicate with suboptimal doses of antibiotics.
When asked about her partner, she emphatically said she was his only sexual partner and would go as far as vouching for his fidelity.
This part of our conversation struck a chord within and when i saw the piece below on a group chat it restruck the same errant chord. I copied the message and decided to repost it. I know not the original source but I hope your chord gets struck...
"AISHA is newly married to her husband KOFI (who is the love of her life). She's expecting a baby therefore she's having unprotected sex with him. After all, he's her husband.
KOFI however has a woman on the side, NAA, and he is having unprotected sex with her because she's a decent lady and loves "skin on skin". Besides that's the only person other than his wife he's having sex with. So he tells himself he is safe because it's only two women..and he trusts them.
Decent NAA has her man, HASSAN. He means the world to her and she's having unprotected sex with him because that's the man she intends to marry. She tells herself she is safe because she only has two men, Kofi a married man and Hassan....
But HASSAN has an outside woman named AKOSUA, a young "good" undergrad he's also considering for marriage and is having unprotected sex with her because to him, Akos is faithful. He tells himself it's only two women he's having sex with so it can't hurt.
AKOSUA on the other hand has no personal man, just friends or lecturers who assist her "ministry" when she has urges and Hassan isn't available.
Do you see where this is going?
Everyone thinks he/she is safe when in fact everyone is unsafe and at risk.
If u agree with me on this, Join the Fight Against HIV/AIDS/STDs.
GET TESTED, STAY PROTECTED.
So... As much as I agree that trust abi na benefit of doubt (as I choose to call it) is an important ingredient in every relationship, it doesn't hurt to err on the path of caution.
Do Stay Safe And Live Clean With Dr IB.
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