The Freedom of Knowing 102
Laying our perceptions bare, most of us go for a test probably after having sex without a condom or when a girl is pregnant (or thinking that they are!) Clearly, HIV and AIDS is an individual battle requiring individual efforts to win. One such crucial effort is testing for the virus.
I totally understand the there are many barriers to testing for HIV. The worst fear is the possibility of a positive HIV status and how to cope with it. Others fear discrimination, stigma and the likely unpredictable reaction from close family or community members. I admit that it is difficult to gather courage to test for HIV. But be rest assured that all these are nothing compared to the relief of knowing your HIV status, the benefits far outweigh the fear.
One of the feelings that torment the mind is to associate any sickness that befalls us to a possibility of HIV infection but neglecting to have a test. For instance, there are so many illnesses that occur without any connection to HIV. Change of weather, diet, atmosphere, food poisoning, improper food preparation or storage can all cause ill health without any linkage to HIV.
But if you do not know your HIV status, you are likely to be seized with fear of possible HIV infection of any the illnesses, particularly if accompanied by chronic diarrhea or respiratory infections generally thought to be symptoms of HIV infection. For many people, this is the primary cause of their fear for HIV testing.
It is good for us to look back and think - How we deny ourselves the opportunities to free our minds by clinging to wrong assumptions! Knowledge, is power, Knowledge is FREEDOM... shed the fear, and take the leap to freedom!