The ongoing journey of my Coming Out and self-acceptance (Part 3)

I did a new search on Google, one Tuesday afternoon in June 2011 and got my answer. I found out about the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR). It was an HIV clinic in Lagos, sponsored by some international organizations, including the Havard Business School. I quickly got dressed and rushed down to the clinic.

I told the security guards at the gate why I was there, and was directed to the reception, from there I was directed to the lab. I found out that the NIMR carried out its own HIV confirmation test before admitting any new patients. The lab had closed for the day and I was asked to return very early the next day. I returned, but didn’t get the tests done. It had rained heavily overnight and the lab had flooded, the staff therefore did not have access to their offices. I was disappointed. I had to wait three more days to finally have the tests, as it had rained again the next day.

Friday came and I had my confirmation test, it was Positive. We had been counselled in small groups before taking the test. During the session, we were informed about how HIV spreads, safe sex practices and the options available to us if our results turned out be Positive. As my result was Positive, I signed a document that gave me patient status with the clinic, and a date for my first appointment was set. More

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The ongoing journey of my Coming Out and self-acceptance (Part 2)

I reached the age of 17 and was still on ‘outpersonals’. ‘PD’ wrote me one day. He was an English man who lived in France and was 48. We became online friends and for the first time I had an older friend I could talk to. He was a paying member on the site, so we could send each other messages. We clicked as great friends and we wrote each other almost everyday. He lived alone, with his dog in a big house. He told me of his past as a model and an actor. He’d ask me a lot of questions, about school, my family and life in general. I sent him pictures of Nigerian neighborhoods, my family, the markets and other places.

PD knew a lot about Nigeria because he was there in the 70’s at the invitation of his neighbours in London. He sent me lots of pictures too. As our friendship developed, he started to call our house every weekend. He cared a lot about me and often called me his son. He encouraged me to be focused in school. He asked me to stay away from Jason and his friends. PD never had any children of his own, but he was once married. Every time he wrote, he ended his email with “your friend PD”, that meant a lot to me. More

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