Monday, January 5, 2015

HIV Comes To Rescue Some Nigerian Soldiers!

You know, when HIV came to limelight, it was a death sentence so much so the Igbos called it Obirinajaocha (transliteration: 'it ends in clay soil) meaning that the disease only ends 6fts below. It appeared to be the scare of the century; and it was! If you've come across an 'HIV victim' as it used to be called, you'd concur with that ideology.

Fortunately, things have changed. People who are infected with HIV are no longer 'victims' per se; they are called 'People Living With HIV', just like there are people living with diabetes mellitus and peptic ulcer. Medical care available to such peolpe has significantly improved, and the stigmatisation is gladly being driven down by the efforts of the government, NGOs and other responsible organisations.

In recent times, however, especially in Nigeria, 'living with HIV' confers vital bittersweet advantage to certain group of people- Soldiers!

In the heat of Boko Haram insurgence, and the attendant casualties the military suffers now and then in their spirited attempts to stem the tide of the ugly insurgency, living with HIV can save a soldier from being posted to the war front, without running the risk of mutiny.

Unconfirmed reports have it that hitherto unknown soldiers living with HIV are now willingly tendering their confirmation laboratory results and doctors reports to the authorities so that they will be officially exempted from being posted to such areas as Borno, Yobe and Bauchi where the people are not smiling!

The mantra goes that 'if a soldier slaps you, you'll know that police is your friend'. Maybe, the new mantra is 'if Boko Haram jams you, you'll know HIV is your friend'.


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