Amaka Nicholas

He is a loving husband and caring father. He found out while at the hospital to donate blood that he is HIV positive.

From all indications, his wife is also infected. He was told of his status and encouraged come along with his spouse for counseling and medication.

He promised to, but never did. He was placed on anti-retroviral drugs, but he didn’t summon courage to tell his wife to adjust to their new health status.

He continued to play a good husband and father while hiding such a life-changing secret from his wife. He lived with his family as though nothing happened and his wife had no reasons to suspect him.

He left her with no warning until her incessant ill-health led to HIV test and it was too late, her health had deteriorated because it was full blown AIDS already.

While on her sick bed, she wept bitterly all day. He couldn’t look her in the eyes any longer. He felt terrible. She felt betrayed when she learnt he kept his HIV secret from her knowing that it would kill her.

She couldn’t believe that the same man she could lay down her life for would betray her in this manner. He should have told her at least instead of allowing her health status to get worse.

She’s bound to feel bad, even over react and hate him for life, but knowing of her status and helping herself would have been better. But no, he rather she died a painful and horrifying death, looking like a skeleton and a shadow of her once beautiful self.

She never stopped cursing him on her sick bed while waiting for death. At that time, she resented him. She later died an avoidable death, of a sickness that shouldn’t have killed her in the first place.

Only if he had said something, but he didn’t tell her and it was too late when she found out. Only heartless and selfish cowards choose the easy way out when they know the lives of their partners depend on their full disclosure.

If you truly love someone, you will do whatever it takes to keep them alive. Not disclosing that you are HIV positive to your partner while on anti-retroviral medication yourself is not cowardice but sheer cruelty and wickedness. It is a betrayal of trust.

It is estimated that half of the people living with HIV still do not know that they are infected while many in relationships and marriage do not know their partner’s status.

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In this clime, most men do not disclose their HIV status to their spouses or partners. They would rather take their medications in secret. And in some cases when their wives find out, they battle with the reality of their status and also deal with the anguish of their husbands’ stance on not getting tested, so his status remains unknown. Some women have also kept their HIV status a secret for fear of breaking their marriages or relationships.

It is unfortunate that many people are suffering this fate today. There are many unreported cases of spouses keeping their status to themselves, only for family and friends to preach forgiveness.

They also start preaching divine judgment here after and tempering justice with mercy while the partner left in the dark is paying the supreme price with their health and life.

What if ‘hereafter and divine judgment’ is an illusion? How do the dead get appeased for dying for their partner’s insincerity?

When such cases of people intentionally withholding information of their status from their partners are established and proven, there has to be punishment for them here on earth first. It is cold blooded murder, and criminal prosecution should be their reward for being so mean to their partners.

It should be a criminal and punishable offence to know and keep it a secret or recklessly infecting another person with the HIV. Our case should not always be different. Our laws must be strengthened to not treat such issues of intentionally withholding life altering information as a family matter.

Since the heart of man is desperately wicked, we must never make excuses for people who would rather watch fellow humans die avoidable deaths than say the truth.

Denying your spouse sex for months or years, insisting on introducing condoms all of a sudden in your marriage, divorce or breaking up with them all in a bid to evade telling them the truth about your status are all acts of cowardice and cruelty.

Telling your partner about your status may be the hardest thing to do, but it is the best and only option. Brace up and face your partner. Hurt them honestly than mislead them with a silence. They will resent you or even leave you, but it’s best they know and get all the available help they need to stay alive.

HIV virus attacks the immune system and weakens its ability to fight diseases. Though there is no known cure for now, those living positive can live long and healthy lives while on anti retro-viral medication.

Without these medications, HIV develops into Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), which is the final stage when the body can no longer fight infections.

Speak to your partner today, save yourself from eternal burden and guilt. Don’t allow your spouse or partner to die a needless death because you want to keep your HIV a secret. Be bold and say the truth today.