Yesterday, I had a discussion with members of an online group about “marrying an HIV-positive person,” and the response was a mix of adequate knowledge and lack of it.
Here are some of the comments;
“See… the least I can do is stand by the person and help her manage the situation… I wouldn’t lie to you; I can’t continue.”
“Almost half of the people living with HIV have partners who are HIV negative, I don’t see why not… given modern safety and treatment measures.”
“It’s going to be tough ooo because even if I get lectured on the nitty-gritty, I still need to break the news to my fam, (I’m not sure I can keep it in for long). I’d tell the partner to give me time to think on it well and receive clear instructions, once that is done, then we’d talk about learning the nitty-gritty, we’ll move on from there.”
I asked a similar question on our Instagram page, and I got identical answers too.
Now, it is essential to know that being HIV positive is not a death sentence. Being HIV positive is way better than being a Hepatitis patient. It all boils down to your knowledge of HIV.
Let me enlighten us a bit.
There is a point where being HIV positive is no longer a threat to both the individual and their partner. That point is when their viral load is so low that it becomes undetectable, and the CD4 count is high.A viral load is the amount of HIV in someone’s blood. The higher the load, the greater the risk of transmitting the virus and vice-versa.
How can an HIV patient reduce their viral load, you might ask?It’s easy if the person undergoes Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) by taking Antiretroviral drugs consistently. As prescribed by the physician, of course, and in no time, this person’s viral load will begin to reduce. The drugs help subdue HIV and stop the damage caused by the virus to the host’s CD4 cells.
What is this CD4 cell that I’ve been talking about?A CD4 cell is an immune cell that defends our bodies against infections and diseases. With a high CD4 cell, an HIV patient will be less exposed to other infections or diseases like tuberculosis, and so on.
Okay great! How do I keep myself protected against the virus?
All you have to do is take PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). It is an HIV prevention option that works by taking one pill every day. When taken daily, it can significantly reduce the risk of getting HIV. It is highly effective when taken as prescribed, but it is much less effective when not taken consistently.
Now that you know more about how an HIV patient can stay healthy, let me throw the question at you.
Can you marry an HIV positive person? I know your answer is “YESSSSSS.”
We all are humans, and we have the right to love and to be loved.
Like someone said, “As the lover (HIV negative), I will stand right beside him, motivate him to continue ART until undetectable. I’ll take PrEP as well so that we can try to have babies… Awwwwn, it will be a very happy family.”