Posted by From GEOFFREY ANYANWU, Awka on
Mr Innocent Nwafor could be termed a unique man. He tested positive to HIV and has declared that this has been a blessing......
Mr Innocent Nwafor could be termed a unique man. He tested positive to HIV and has declared that this has been a blessing.
Thirty-nine-year-old Nwafor, who hails from Uruagu Nnewi in Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State told Daily Sun in Awka that while he and his wife are HIV positive, their two kids are HIV negative.
The former commercial motorcycle operator, who said he discovered his HIV status in year 2000, when he was terribly sick, noted that he enjoys life.
Nwafor, who was recently presented with a set of computers and some other tools for repair of mobile phones, after being trained by Year of Ultimate Talents Harvest (YOUTH), through its human rights advocacy and capacity building for people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, with the sponsorship of Anambra State HIV/AIDS Programme (World Bank assisted) said because of HIV, he was taken to an international conference in Uganda, a feat he feels he could not have reached in life.
He said he and his family are living happily and well too, stressing that he only has to religiously take his drugs and live his life to the fullest, advising people to be wise and check their HIV status so as to avoid dying prematurely from a disease that could be controlled.
When the disease was noticed
I knew my HIV status in year 2000. I fell seriously ill. I was ill that I could not even get up from bed. I was taken from one herbalist to another. I went to Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi and did my test. When I tested positive, I began taking my drugs. Today, I am living healthy.
Contracting the virus
Actually, I cannot tell how I contracted the disease, I cannot tell. After I got married, after my wedding in September 2000, I stared having malaria and other ailments. My wife is also HIV positive, I have two children, a boy and a girl, and they are negative.
In fact, I am a man of the people. At the initial stage, people said all sorts of things. Today, nothing is happening. In short, I have saved many souls by coming out to declare my HIV status. In 2003, I was lucky. They took me to Uganda, to an international conference.
The Uganda visit
I really thank God for my life because I can say that if not for HIV, I would not have traveled to Uganda. It was the first day I entered a plane in my life for the sake of HIV, something I did not expect. This HIV has made me live the life I did not expect. I am happy. See what I got here, computers and other things. Before I got infected, I was an Okada rider, but when I got this HIV problem, I felt that my life was gone. With the help of the HIV support group, I am now a mobile phone repairer. With this working tools given to me by YOUTH, I know my problems are over.
Advise to people
My advise is that there is no need to hide, because coming out will help you to get what you need. If you hide your sickness, your sickness will take you to the grave, but if you open up, people will help you.
Look at me today, I was an Okada rider, but coming out has made me to travel out of the country. At home here, anything they will do, they will involve me, even my local government and community. From there, Dr. Aranotu involved me in this YOUTH skill acquisition programme. Today, I am a handset repairer. If I didnít come out, I would not have gotten them. Where could I have raised money for computers and all these things?
I am telling other HIV positive people to come out and express themselves, if they cooperate with people, their problems will be solved.
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