AIDS Affair : Help for HIV-positive nephew

July 12, 2016

Dear Counsellor,

My nephew complained of having flu symptoms very often, and so we decided that he should visit our family doctor for a general check-up.

After a long discussion with the doctor, he decided that my nephew should include the HIV test as part of his overall health assessment.

When the HIV test was mentioned, we all had a good laugh because as far as we knew, where HIV was concerned, my Christian nephew would have nothing to worry about.

Counsellor, I got the shock of my life when the doctor said he wanted to speak with my nephew alone. Then a few minutes later, I was called in.

His HIV test came back positive. We didn't know what to do. For a few minutes we were all silent.

A few days passed and my nephew told me that while in college in Canada he remembered that a girl he met there had died of some rare illness and many persons were saying she had AIDS.

Counsellor, the family is having nightmares. My nephew is now a big waste. All that education he has is now going to waste. How could I get some help for my nephew who, I can say, has given up?

Concerned Auntie

Dear Concerned Auntie:

Thanks for your letter. All is not lost. Your nephew is not a big waste. He can continue to live a productive life, living positively with HIV. HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is not a death sentence, and many persons are living with HIV and making a tremendous impact on society. It is just another chronic illness. It is extremely important that the family get family counselling so that you can better understand HIV. You may also want to visit a knowledgeable HIV physician. Finally, let me encourage you to continue to be positive and encourage your nephew to follow his doctor's instructions carefully.


Dear Counsellor,

I am 19 years old and my neighbour's son, who is about 31 years old, usually comes to my house when my parents are out and we have sex.

The minute I know my parents are out, I call him. I love him and I am hoping that one day he will marry me and we can live together as partners for life.

I have a little problem, though. First, I had a sore-looking thing on my vagina. I did not pay that any attention until I started having a rash on my hands and feet.

Counsellor, I am now very scared because I read about those symptoms in my biology class and so I think I may be infected with syphilis.

Please tell me what I can do. I cannot let my parents know that I am sexually active. It is my fault why my boyfriend is having sex with me.

How can I deal with this problem without going to the doctor?

Sexy Teen

Dear Sexy Teen:

You just cannot deal with this problem without going to the doctor. There is no medication over the counter that can adequately treat syphilis if you are in fact infected with syphilis. Remember as well that untreated syphilis can lead to serious complications. You mentioned that you want your boyfriend to become your life partner, but you must tell him the truth. You must have a serious conversation with him and let him know about the symptoms you are experiencing so that you both can deal with the issue you are now facing. Now is the time to test if he is fit to be a lifetime partner.

You must see a health-care provider as soon as possible so that you can be medically assessed and treated.

Remember that you must protect your sexual health. You are to use a condom every time you have sex so that you can be protected from sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

For more information on condom use, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections call the AIDS/STD Helpline toll free at 1888-991-4444

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