Health Test: A record of scare

I unzipped my bag, rummaging for my throat lozenge amidst tangled earphones, transaction receipts, a notepad and a host of other things. I was sitting at my desk at work, trying to rid myself of a sore throat.

Image Source: Harvard Health

Grimacing, I shook the contents in my bag into my lap. I still could not find my throat lozenge. Sighing, I gradually returned the contents in my laps into my bag.

Sitting in my laps are my hospital card and some test results taking me back to an eventful wait at the hospital lab supported by my neighbor who was there largely paying back my niceness and low key being the nosey neighbour prototype.

Shivers ran down my spine as I sat hoping and praying I didn’t have to start a GoFundMe account any soon while wondering why my body had betrayed me after all I fed it.

I opened the card to read the result. Bladder malfunction, typhoid and over the top doses of malaria parasites. Also included was test XYZ and an XY result. I remembered wondering what that test measured but was too tired to query the doctor who was more interested in poking my body here and there than sending me to the lab.

My curiosity took a better hold of me so I turned to Google. It turned out to be the test for HIV/AIDS.

One of the search results took me to the following story on Nairaland.

Some health guys came to my office today to enlighten us on HIV and at the end of the program they asked us to come forward for free test. Nobody came forward so I volunteered after which the health guy told me to wait for 5 minutes to get my result.

All eyes were on me as I waited for the result. After about what seems like 5 years the guy called me out, took me to a corner, sat me down and started asking me strange questions.

Questions like when was the last time you test for HIV? Have your fiancee done hers? Do you use public clippers? Does your fiancee fix weave-on with public needles? There was concern in his eyes.

All this time, my colleagues were looking at us from a distance with anticipation while I was stuttering in response to his numerous questions.

My anxiety became obvious as tiny sweat droplets pooled on my furrowed brow, many things were going through my mind. For Christ sake, what is this question about my fiancee and public clippers? We’re getting married in months!

The guy paused, looked at my blood sample and started to explain some stuff I was certainly not listening to, he blew out his cheek and said you are non-reactive!

What does that even mean? I asked, he said oh you are negative.

Phew! I felt like hitting the guy right in his face. What was the suspense for? He really made sweat. Instead I smiled sheepishly, thanked him and walked away on quaking feet.

Trust my colleagues, they were just staring at me until I showed them my report. They eventually got the courage to do theirs. It was not funny!

How does running health tests make you feel? How did your first HIV test go? Share if you’ve had a similar experience.