On no! An HIV test!

Saturday February 27 2021
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By Philip Matogo

One night, I had one too many Club beers. 
So I found myself with a Juliana Kanyomozi lookalike in the bar, only to wake up lying next to a Yona Kanyomozi lookalike in bed!
“What the….?” I asked. 
To make matters worse, the “protection” I thought I had used was as non-existent as my date’s previously fine looks.

In personal hell, tears rolled down my cheeks as unbroken streamlets of regret.
Four months later, an HIV/Aids policy was rolled out at my workplace.
So our company held an HIV/Aids voluntary counselling and testing “fair” to determine the extent of the problem at work and its environs.

We chose the biggest landing site within Nakasongola District as the place to have the “fair”, since this was “a high incidence area” in the tragic story of HIV/Aids in Uganda.
To make this exercise a success, we worked in partnership with a non-governmental organisation whose remit is to fight HIV/Aids.

On our combined team were 30 peer educators, who would serve as facilitators.
We thus set off for the landing site on one bright-eyed and bushy-tailed morning.
When we reached the site, we set up several loudspeakers, tents and chairs for the counselling and testing points.

The loudspeakers, at around 9am, filled the air with the music of local artistes as a screaming emcee asked the villagers to come, stand and be tested.
Soon, a trickle of villagers was on tap as curiosity about the fair seeped into the various homesteads dotting the landing site.

At around 2pm, I took a deep breath and decided to take a test.
I then walked over to “Tent number 4”, manned by two clowns called Abdul and Abdullah. They were so dumb we used to called them “Ab-Dull and Ab-Duller”.  
Abdul motioned me to one of the facilitators to draw some blood.

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Now, this facilitator worked with our company as a laboratory technician and was well-equipped to administer the test.
What struck me, however, is the excitement he showed in wanting to draw my blood.
It was an excitement born of the enthusiasm that comes with a friend wanting to know another friend’s deepest, darkest secret.

From the minute I approached him, his face beamed with a blinding smile. Then, his shiny eyes enlarged to expose a distant world of sun-washed beaches glistening with bikini-clad ladies as golden sands of sweet sensation were set to the enchanting Bill Withers song, “Lovely Day”.
The guy was so happy.
He led me, like a lamb to the slaughter, to be pricked.

When I saw the needle, I closed my eyes tight as he drew my blood.
When he was done, he informed me, with a merciless smile, I had to wait about 10 nerve-racking minutes for the results.
As I left the testing point to wait outside, I could see the guy feverishly running about like his butt was a raging inferno of flames.

What was he up to? I asked myself.
That’s when crazy thoughts took up asylum in my head.
First, I wondered, what if he mixes up the results and I get a landing site Casanova’s results? 

Most of the lover-men at this landing site were bedroom gods, so I would definitely be positive. 
Then, my mind raced back to all the women I had dated in what could soon be an abbreviated life.
This remembrance was as frightening as getting offered a lift from a Nalufenya-happy Drone.  

As my teeth chattered, I mentally kicked myself for my past promiscuity.
My mind then conjured a virtual police lineup of the usual suspects to blame for this fine mess---booze, low cut dresses, wild parties, wilder friends, no food before a drink, ragga music.
I felt the sharp pangs of regret.

Suddenly, my mind was so full of question marks that it could have passed for a prime time Quiz Show.
The self-blame and questioning soon mutated into self-hate as I asked myself why I was born at all.

Then, I thought of all the benefits of having been born without private parts. 
It sure would’ve been helpful.
Dazed with regret, I later came to the pointed realisation that having no pubic region wouldn’t work either.
Because, with my luck, if I had no privates, HIV/Aids would be caught by my “publics” instead. 
I just couldn’t win. 

My thoughts then came full circle as I started regretting why I met any lady.
Sure enough, at this point, thoughts of sugar-sweet ladies only gave me fears of diabetes.
I was through with ladies, I said to myself.

There and then, I decided I would be celibate. And maybe even try out becoming a Buddhist monk!
I always loved those flowing russet-robes of theirs. 
Deep in thought, I suddenly heard an impatient: “Excuse you, sir!”

My train of thought was cruelly interrupted by the laboratory technician’s words, as he told me that my results were ready! 
I started peeing in my pants. 
But before a biblical flood submerged my underwear in pale-yellow tides of fear, he said those magic words which instantly fixed my plumbing.  
“You’re negative.”

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