Tamuno was diagnosed of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus about 3 years ago. It was news hard for her to take as she had always been careful with use and sharing of sharp objects, towels and even sex, but with support from her parents she was able to stay strong.
Her parents encouraged her to join HIV organizations, where she could meet with people, share ideas, and be taught on how to manage the disease amongst other reasons. She attended such meetings with keen interest. It was in one of these meetings Tamuno met George who was also HIV positive. They had a lot in common, the rationale behind their coming together so quickly, except for their family background.
George was from a humble home while Tamuno's parents were quite rich; they could afford the basic necessities of life with a little more luxury in contrast to George who lost his parents to an automobile accident. He was the first child and was left with four siblings to take care of. When Tamuno told her parents she was getting married to George, they gave her all the support she needed.
They were both HIV positive, a reason why her parents weren't bothered about George's financial status. All they wanted was to have their daughter happy. A day to their wedding, her father called Tamuno and George. He promised to help them financially and employ George in one of his companies. These promises were not without a stiff condition; they must not have a child. “What is the use of having an HIV positive child who would give more stress than joy”? Tamuno's father would always ask.
He didn't believe that there was any medical process that would prevent the fetus from contacting HIV from the pregnant mother. He threatened to disown Tamuno if she ever had a child, so getting pregnant was not an option. Tamuno told her husband about the pregnancy. She wasn't ready to abort the pregnancy. George was not going to suggest that either. They both decided to keep the child, damning the consequence.
Not long after, her father got to know. He was very angry. He promised to carry out his threat if she would not go for an abortion. She already had a bond with her unborn baby, and Tamuno's father made good his threat. He withdrew all forms of support towards them in addition to sacking George from his company.
Life became hard for the young couple. They lived on mercies of friends and a few family members. Tamuno couldn't afford a proper ante-natal during pregnancy. There were a lot of drugs she wasn't able to buy. She also wasn't feeding properly.
A week after the eighth month of her pregnancy, Tamuno felt a sharp pain in her waist. She let out a loud cry, loud enough that it attracted the attention of their neighbours, and George who was lucky to be at home. She was taken to the hospital where the doctor told George how Tamuno had suffered complications due to her deprivation of a proper ante-natal. She would have to undergo a caesarian section if they wanted both Tamuno and her baby alive. They needed money and time was of essence. After he had tried sourcing for money from some friends with little success, George decided to go to his father-in-law. Tamuno's father would have none of it and all he could do in the face of anger was to drive George out of this compound.
Tamuno eventually lost the baby. She was lucky to have survived the incident but not without losing more than enough blood which she needed in the course of her treatment. Tests had to be run before blood could be transfused. The result of the test was a shock!. Tamuno was going to hear what was going to change a lot in her life. She was HIV negative!
On hearing this, in the midst of undifferentiated emotions, George also requested to have his blood tested again; the result, which to everybody's surprise including the consultant, showed he was HIV negative. What could have happened? Could it have been a mix up? Were their previous test results swapped? This was more than a coincidence. Could they say it was a miracle?
Her father heard the news of what had just happened and he was ashamed. He wanted to make it up to them. Tamuno didn't want to see her father. The thought that her baby could have been free from the disease and would have been saved if her father had rendered help made her sad. She was hurt and nothing anyone told her could pacify her.
Who is to blame? Is it her father, Tamuno and George, the laboratory scientists who had carried out similar tests on them before, or were they just victims of circumstance?
written by: Adediran Toyosi....