We here at Pabwalo like to believe that we are such an ingenious bunch; that pounces on any scent of ridiculousness just to come up with an article and make people self-aware, we look at it as our contribution to character building for our Nation’s narcotic young minds.
It is to such that we would like to harangue the phenomenon of social media users (just like you and me) posting their HIV test results online (particularly on Facebook, sometimes complete with pictures of the test kit and official medical notes even(stamp yak u Adventist hospital iwoneke).
I will be honest and admit that I have done such before. For me it was the time when I still had hope that there was a possibility of me getting selected for those Chinese government scholarships, and as per their requirement I had to undergo a full medical including the HIV test.
You have got to understand, the previous month I had been involved in a lot of ‘’barbershop accidents’’ (ndimangochekeka ndikapita kometesa…rolls eyes) such that my apprehension levels were at super max.
So when I got the results finally, (non-reactive/negative), I felt like I had been handed a bonus life to my video game of ‘’barbershop accidents’’…some of you know that euphoric feeling.
This pleasant news became a big part of the rest of that day such that I spent a better portion of it spreading the Gospel of an HIV negative Big Daddy bae via Whatsapp, phonecalls, sms etcetera to friends, family and ‘’barbershop accident’’ acquaintances alike.
But to finally rubberstamp this Victory (to preserve in time and space immemorial) I decided to notify the Facebook community, and surely I got the standard 20+ likes. All was well and settled, I had handed in my updated credentials to take part in more unprotected sex…ooops…I mean ‘’barbershop accidents’’…(I really mean that Dad)…license to operate.
Before and since then, a lot of my Facebook friends have behaved similarly at different degrees and for different reasons such as marketing themselves sexually, showing off, immaturity and sometimes simply because people have nothing better to post on their walls.
Whatever reasons one can think of for doing such, no matter how noble, posting your HIV test results on social media platforms is as insensitive as stigmatizing people living with the condition publicly, because it is exactly what it is; when you post your ‘’Highly favoured, tested HIV Negative again, #non-reactive #my_future_z_bright’’ status update on a podium where people living with the condition have access to such blasé sentiments coming from buffoons like yourself, this is one of the unfortunate side effects of modern technology and its effects on human empathy.
Let me be clear here, I am one who is all for awareness, sensitization and encouraging VCT. But publicizing your results should not come at the expense of your friends and family affected by the condition.
Why should one broadcast their test results in the first place? HIV is no longer a taboo issue that people associated with it should be shunned or feel spurned in society, offline or online.
What we might perceive as innocent remarks or guiltless posts to us, can depress other people just as well.
It is now that I feel like a major jackass for that irresponsible and insensitive post though it was done in the heat of fun.
Even if you are hit by scandal and suddenly there are allegations circulating out there that you might be positive, you do not owe the whole nation disclosure of your test results.
Just my opinion.