Meet today's brave HIV Advocate Nuel from Nigeria.
"I had always knew I was gay from a very little age, but finding the guidance and right path was difficult since I live in a homophobic country. Life as a gay boy hadn't been fair with me since I only learn from my mistakes as there was no one to educate me on how the community was. I kept leaving relationships with a new lesson learned. Unknowingly to me, I left a previous relationship with the HIV virus. I never knew until 10th of February, 2020 when I visited the lab for a check up. How can I ever forget that date? However, I took the result to a hospital where I now receive medications. I am on medications now.
My family doesn't know about my HIV status yet. And I must confess, them not knowing is a huge work for me because I have to be careful in all I do especially works that concerns the kitchen. Sometimes I refuse to do some certain things and they all think I'm a disobedient child. I live with my parents and siblings. Worst of it is that whenever I bring a topic about HIV and try to educate them about it, they change the topic saying it will never be our potion and none of us will contract it. Do I feel stigmatized, No. Well I guess I don't feel stigmatized yet because nobody knows. I surely would tell the world my HIV status but not now because I'm still dependent on my parents. And I'm pretty sure they won't accept me if they find out I'm HIV positive and worst to know I'm gay. I remember my eldest brother told me twice in different occasions that he would cut out my right fingers once he confirms his suspicions of me being gay.
I enjoy swimming although I don't get to do it often, I hope to travel one day but for now it is not realistic. I read and watch films about different cultures. The only thing I do now that I can call a hobby is reading. Yea I read articles, textbooks and any book that will make me better than who I was yesterday. I don't have a job yet. After I left high school, I learnt electrical works. Last year December, I enrolled for a payloader training so I would go get a job and be financially independent. I have completed my training but no company will employ me without a certificate and a driving license. So after this crisis, I will go get any job to pay for my certificate and license.
We love and support this brave advocate!