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Florida Uzoaru: Most STDs No Dey Show For Face

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Nearly a decade ago, I fell in love with a boy who fell in love with me. We met our families, and we began discussing marriage. He wanted us to wait until marriage to do the do, but I wasn’t about that life. Mba oh! Too many stories of impotency and wives who never orgasm with their husbands, I didn’t want any of that for myself. I was by far more concerned us being sexually compatible. We even didn’t talk about testing for STDs, until we were well into the wedding planning stage. That’s when I insisted we should both test for HIV.

Not to trivialise the importance of sexual compatibility, of course. But I don’t imagine there are a lot of people who, if presented with the options: STD with amazing sex or STD-free but meh sex, and they’d jump at the former. Then again, when you’re young and in love, you feel invincible. You don’t imagine anything bad will happen to you. It is later, when the fog is lifted from your eyes, you go… ‘mehn what was I thinking back then?

Now I wonder, what if he had tested positive? Would I have continued with the wedding? I probably would have – because I truly believe he’s a very special person – but there would have required drastic lifestyle changes. Say I was negative, while he’s positive, our sex life will be revolved around making sure he doesn’t infect me; that we can get pregnant without acquiring the virus from him, and then ensuring even if I do, that I don’t pass it on to our child. It’s a lifelong commitment, and understandably not everyone feels up to it.

I am pretty sure there many more people who will appreciate the opportunity to have to make the decision for themselves. I personally know couples that got married, knowing one of them was HIV positive. So it isn’t true that nobody will want you if you are living with HIV. Although I imagine that for a moment, when they first found out the status of their loved one, it may have felt like serious sand sand being poured into their garri. They may have even temporarily reconsidered the relationship, before deciding to go ahead regardless. This way, at least, they wouldn’t be the man I read about the other day, who filed for divorce on the grounds that his wife knew she was positive all along, but refused to disclose it. She may have been diligently taking her medications, and therefore not infectious. Yet, it’s probably the betrayal of trust was what did it for him. I mean, that’s a huge thing to hide from your partner.

I believe people have the right to know if the person they are sleeping with or about to sleep with has HIV. Although the massive HIV campaign has increase people’s awareness of it, it isn’t just HIV. It is all the STDs – because they love to coexist together. It is such that if a person has one STD, s/he needs to worry about having others. So yes, people need to know what they are getting themselves into, so they can decide if it is a path they’d want to like to walk down or not. However, a lot of people aren’t likely going to go supplying such information. Duh…unless you ask for it. So, ask.

Asking of course doesn’t take care of everything. Some people genuinely don’t know what it is that they have or don’t have. They probably are waiting to start peeing blood or have severe abdominal pains before they’d ever test themselves. Meanwhile, many STDs will quietly reside in your body without symptoms, so you can go for years thinking all is well. Meanwhile, they are doing serious damage to you, and you don’t even know it. So while asking is great, we all need to go a step further to really protect ourselves. We have to start screening ourselves for STDs more. And if you’re thinking, ‘but if I wear a condom, I’m good.’ Ehhh, not exactly. Take for example syphilis or the HPV-related STDs genital warts; you can get these through skin contact of areas not typically covered by condoms.

In closing, please don’t do like I did. Don’t wait till much later to screen yourself and your partner. It really should be the first step to take once you’ve made up your mind to have sex with someone. While I was lucky and it worked out well, not everyone is.

GIVEAWAY OFFER:
Earlier in the year, a few of my friends sponsored 6 boxes of Slide Safe. 5 of these boxes have been claimed and delivered. There’s still a box left, and I’d like to give it out to a random commenter. The person will only need to pay the cost for delivery (note that I only use ACE for deliveries outside Lagos). This box of Slide Safe contains singular use HIV, Hepatitis B and Syphilis test kits. They are rapid diagnostic tests, meaning you get the result within 15 minutes. It uses blood sample from your fingertips, so it’s pretty easy to use. The box also contains one water-based lubricant and two condoms (you get to choose if you want male or female condoms, or a mix). The box is discretely packaged, so as not to attract attention, so you don’t have to worry about anyone seeing what is being delivered to you.

If you’d like this box of Slide Safe, please indicate in your comment.

Photo Credit: Kouassi Gilbert Ambeu | Dreamstime.com

Florida is the founder of MerDroits, a health innovation that provides judgment-free online sexual health education. Slide Safe, powered by MerDroits, is a carefully packaged treasure chest of sexual safety. This all-in-one box of STD tests kits, lubricants, and condom is Secret Serviced to you, no one will ever know.

39 Comments

  1. Glow

    May 30, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    The STD i fear most is HPV….this is the story; man gets HPV from one of the many women he sleeps with, marries a 25yr old virgin, infects her wt HPV…she shows no symptoms UNTIL SHE IS DIAGNOSED WITH CERVICAL CANCER @AGE 45……

    • florence

      May 30, 2017 at 1:56 pm

      This is why we do pap smear. This is why women are advised to start having pap smears done by age 21. Then every 2 or 3 years later depending on the results. Now, how many 25 year old women in Nigeria have ever had a pap smear done, despite all the noise about it? That is the big issue.

    • Haba

      May 30, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      But there is hpv vaccine which one should get especially if they are virgins. Covers the most common hpv variants responsible for cervical cancer. In fact they are counselling for all young girls to have it.

    • Marian

      May 30, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      I was worried about it too so i got the vaccine. Speak with your primary care about the HPV vaccine.

  2. Random commenter

    May 30, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    I want. Me!!!!!

  3. It Is I

    May 30, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Beautiful article, thank you so very much.

    I want a SLIDE SAFE box, hope I win.

  4. Honestly speaking

    May 30, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    In a Nigeria of very educated humans, to be couples still take this topic very lightly. This is not a play something .Please, i want the box

  5. Ikechukwu Regina

    May 30, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    I want the boxes of slide safe and I reside in Anambra state. Can I really get it,I will be grateful if I do get it. Thanks

  6. Becky

    May 30, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    I will appreciate having a box of slide safe just to know my status which is giving me sleepless night, having recently found out that my bobo is Mr nice guy and loves to do d do without protection.

  7. Chic

    May 30, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    I want the box of Slide Safe please..
    email; [email protected]
    Thank you.

  8. AA

    May 30, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Please I want a Slide Box…I was recently diagnosed with Bartholin cysts and have a nagging fear of STD….I reside in Lagos…I went to a popular lab for comprehensive screening but the cost was horrendous!

    • AA

      May 30, 2017 at 2:32 pm

      I will be very grateful if I am selected as the recipient of the slide box…i need to get my spouse tested…we had pre-marriage tests but I keep wondering why I suddenly started suffering from very painful cysts.

      Thank you.

  9. Mikeolysis

    May 30, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Its easier said than done for someone to wholeheartedly and come to terms with living with a positive partner. What they call magnetic couples. Especially when they havent got married yet.
    Meanwhile ild love to have a box of your product. It can save a life.

  10. Chic

    May 30, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    I want a Safe Slide Box please…
    Thank you.

  11. Modupe

    May 30, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Very educative piece. We need to keep creating awareness about testing because STDs do not show on the face. Testing , testing and more testing is just the way to go. Even if it won’t change the status of the relationship it is always better to have all the facts at hand to make an informed decision.
    I reside in Lagos and would love to have the Slide safe box, thank you

  12. chika

    May 30, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Please i would sincerely love the slidebox. Been a virgin all my life, got into a new and first relationship and like you would imagine i knew very little about STD’s etc. Now i’m trying to research more and be more aware as i have noticed that most men would want to take advantage of my naivitee. Yes i have had sex a couple of times with my patner but i’m trying to stay safe. Please i would really appreciate this box to test myself and it would go a long way in my awareness and health journey. You will be saving a life literally. Thank you

  13. Ife

    May 30, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    The importance of knowing your health status cannot be overemphasized. Thank you for this article Florida.

    I will be grateful if I am gifted a Slide Safe box.presently can’t afford it. I will be grateful if I am gifted a Slide Safe box.

  14. Classicman

    May 30, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Nice article. Please i’ll love to get the Slide Safe . It will really be nice having it. I’ll get to test my self and my 2 sexual partners.

  15. Liz

    May 30, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Hello Florida. I would really like the slide safe kit…….I was a bit careless earlier this year with someone (wrong of me, I know)……and I’ve been too scared to go test at any lab since then, so If I could test myself in private, it would be much appreciated and I don’t mind covering the delivery cost…. I live in Lagos btw. Thanks in advance.

  16. Olu

    May 30, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Nice article. I have a nasty history with STDs. I hardly enjoy sex with condoms, but each time i try having sex without a condom, i get infected or i think i do. A doctor told me i suffer from a phobia of STDs (cant really remember the name) and so exhibit symptoms after unprotected sex even when I am not infected.
    Hopefully your slide safe can help eliminate this phobia as i look towards settling down pretty soon.

  17. Mz A

    May 30, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    IVery always been scared of stds and any infection at all, the thing studying microbiology does to your mind ehen. I’d love to win the box

  18. anonymous

    May 30, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    My ex gave me an infection.

    We had done an HIV test. I even used to do one every three months and it was always negative.

    We lived apart and one day I visited him at his home and after sex, my hoha was not the same.

    I itched, scratched, had boils, etc. I went for a test and they diagnosed staph and genital warts. treated it but it keeps reoccurring.

    It’s been more than 6 months and I’m going for an HIV test although I’m so scared. I broke up with the ex oh because after the hooha saga, I decided to snoop and realized that he wasn’t only cheating, he was also skinny dipping with all his other babes.

    I’ll go for a test during Ramadan. I picked Ramadan because it means I have enough time to cry and deal with my pain. Pray for me folks.

    It’s not by test oh, some of these bros ain’t loyal.

    • Anonymous-1

      May 30, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      Sorry to hear about your plight.

      It typically takes about 2-years for HPV to clear up assuming it is not one of the variants that causes cervical cancer. By clearing, I mean the constant burning sensation and itching that follows an infection. It all depends on the ability of your immune system to fight it. I’m writing from experience.

      However, the virus never completely leaves your body. It stays dormant and can become active again depending on your immune system.

  19. madman

    May 30, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    STIs/STDs are a serious issue. Herpes, HSV 1 & 2, HPV… all of these are real diseases that can KILL if not treated properly.

  20. zainab salam

    May 30, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Hi, i will really appreciate it if i got this kit,as its a bit difficult getting my man to run these tests.thank you

  21. Popsy

    May 30, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    While making out with her on her first visit, I noticed the left nipple releasing some salty liquid. I didn’t perceive this as being an abnormally so I didn’t bother myself about it. Fast forward Two days I was having difficulty drinking and swallowing foods and liquid alike. I asked my cousin who is a lab scientist if there could be anything wrong with nibble discharge while making out as my perception of nipple and discharge is either arousal or breast feeding. Almost immediately she told me all there is to know about female boob’s and infection which I found to be true when I searched the internet.
    In a bid to stay exclusive to self I conducted a test at another lab and I was diagnosed of throat inflammation.
    To cut the long story short I got my self treated at the same informed bae who since then has being acting cold towards me. She don’t even want to see me again and all effort to get her tested she declined.
    Now You See the flip side of asking if bae has STD or finding out yourself. Needles to say, better safe than sorry. #selflove first

    Please the Safe Slide Box…am interested

  22. Adaoma

    May 30, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    It’s so scary how rampant sex without protection still is even after all the enlightenment. I dated someone last year that absolutely refused to use a condom. His reason was that he was clean, and I don’t mess around, so there was no point. I shiver when I think of it now. I would like a box of Slide Safe with a mix of male and female condoms

  23. AA

    May 30, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Did my comments go to the spam box?

    Dear BellaNaija team…kindly assist.

    Thank you.

  24. Guz

    May 30, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    I got shy when i tried buying a HIV test kit.
    The slide kit would be very helpful for me.
    Ive never really tested for HIV before.

  25. Vee

    May 30, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    Pick me,I want it

  26. Bee

    May 30, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    I want a box of slide both male and female condom

  27. Eny

    May 30, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Nice write up. Am so much interested with the slide safe box, I reside in Lagos. Mail me the cost

  28. Annie

    May 31, 2017 at 12:59 am

    please i wanttttttttttttttttt

  29. Lady d

    May 31, 2017 at 1:32 am

    Once there is a gift , u will see the inflow of comments, ladies and gents once ur not married there is no excuse for agreeing to an unsafe sex, its ur decision .

  30. Pointed nose

    May 31, 2017 at 6:20 am

    Thanks for this article. Please I would love to have a box of slide safe kits. I am very shy person and finding it difficult to go to the hospital to test for Stds and Hiv. If I could start the test at home , It will give me the courage to visit the hospital to complete the test.

  31. Anonymous-1

    May 31, 2017 at 8:30 am

    The author said he/she has just one box of slide safe kit, not 100. Why is nearly every commenter asking for a kit? You all should go buy your own kits.

    • Brainstorm

      May 31, 2017 at 9:09 am

      Because they want it and the writer says she’ll pick at random. What is wrong with striving to get what you want? Oniranu!

  32. TRUTHFULLY

    May 31, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Would really appreciate if I am picked for the Slide safe kit. I am sexually active with one partner. I insisted we go for test before we became intimate, but every time I remember he chose the laboratory we used, I still get scared cos I wasn’t careful enough. 09069001553

  33. Ife Love

    June 1, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    I want. I want. I want. ? Made my hair some months ago(about 2ce) and my head was a testing ground for a puncture festival. The needle which is used for clients pricked my scalp several times and I haven’t gotten years since as I have not had the courage to go for testing at the clinic because of the sanctimonious attitude of most health care workers.
    The test kit will save the the stress and heartache of being labelled a slut ?

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