HIV TESTING IS IMPORTANT

I’m guessing by now you all have noticed that I am a very determined young lady who has a drive to succeed in life. I’m very proud of myself by the way so I guess I match up with the standards that I have set for myself.
Now that I am 18, I have made a list of things that I need to do. The list includes making  sure that I vote in the coming elections, and visiting Tebelopele to get tested for HIV, if for nothing else, but to know my status.
So I went to Tebelopele a few weeks ago with a friend of mine. When we got there we saw a lot of people waiting in line, anxious to get tested. I must applaud Batswana for this. It really is pleasing to see that more and more people are interested in knowing their status. I just hope that people don’t just go there when they notice their health deteriorating; we all should be going there even if we feel fresh and healthy.
However, my excitement of knowing my status was quickly erased when we were told to come the following day as it was full. Because of my eagerness to get tested, I asked if there was another Tebelopele in town, but no, this was the one and only centre in Gaborone, we were and we were told that that was the only testing centre. I don’t know if this is true but if it is then I am highly disappointed.
I just imagined the number of people that have been told to turn back because the centre is full. I know you can still get tested at the clinic but a lot of us prefer Tebelopele. I bet a lot of those turned back did not retrace their steps the following day. I am one of those because I really have not had time to go back but I do promise to go back. Now just imagine the people who are HIV positive but still don’t know because of inadequate testing centres. Some of them only had encouragement for that day.
But of all the disappointments, it was the attitude we got at the centre that takes the cake. A first person we met at the centre, wondered aloud what young girls were doing at a place like that. I felt really insulted because the vibe that I got from this lady was that she thought we were bad girls. But this wasn’t the case, we just wanted to know our status, is there anything wrong with that?
You see why we are lacking behind! Until we change our attitudes as Batswana then will never go anywhere. We always have negative thoughts, thinking positively is a taboo with us. I mean instead of the lady congratulating us for our eagerness to know our status, she made us feel bad about our move.
That aside, I really hope someone from the health department is reading this because it doesn’t make sense to encourage people to get tested while we don’t have enough facilities. It’s time to walk the talk!

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onks

true dat,the same tragedy befell me as well two wiks ago(maun center) though mine is slightly different from yours.it was around 12:40 when the lady who was helpin told me they are closed therefore sh can’t help me.i felt so rebuked hence never hesitetad but exited the building in despair,even up to now i stl dn’t know my status and don’t wnna go back,i suggest the govmnt should consider extending workin hrs and increase staff as more nd more people are nw gettn interested in known their status.

nkops

yah it does happen,cuz other people do leave with influence from others so if you have encouraged one to get tested and finds out that the testing center is flooded.he/she tends to change minds for ever.it worth it to have more than one testing centers in a location(mostly in towns) since a quite number of us stays there.thanx to Tshepo Sepora for raising such a good issue.ke go rata marato to be so responsible at an early stage.keep it up

To turn 18 and have two immediate priorities: to vote and get tested? You and your friend are living examples of “citizenship” and what it means to be an adult.

Valentine Butale

If thres only one place to test in Gaborone why then should we applaud Botswana? So many slogans, adverts and messages are passed out to the public every day about the benefits of knowin your status but if i must sit in line for hours to find out I will feel rather discouraged. All I am saying is the government should start taking initiative and start creating testing platforms rather then just spending money on adverts. Nice article by the way. you sound like someone i wud lyk 2 b friends with!

pro kid

thts very true, i once experienced tht 2 at one of the broadhurst clinics, i went ther on a friday afternun and was told to come back the following week. tht was very discouragin n i havnt gone back yet.

problem

dazz

at 18 already u want 2 test? That’s why the person was wondering, gore when did u start indulging in ways that can expose u 2 HIV. At that young age of yours we should be preaching to abstain not knowing status. Until young boys n girls stop indulging in sexual relationships, we will never go anywhere.

Makoti

Dazz who said u can get Aids thru sexual intercourse fela, it amazing to know that they are people lyk u Dazz. For yr own information u can contact the virus thru blood tranfusion, from mother to child (being born with the virus), Sharing of needles or even being involved in an accident. Go tlhabisa ditlhong go nna le batho ba ba akanyang jaaka bo Dazz in this Era. As for everyone who has commented (except Dazz) big up for yr guys and i applaud u Tshepho for taking a step to go and test for HIV/ AIDS. God bles

Latoya

Its always great to hear us youth having such goals as you Tshepo, i do understand what you went through and i would have felt terrible about it as well. Problem is dear you ddnt voice it out to the lady who turned you guys back, maybe am wrong but i also would have taken an extra min to let her knw how i felt ‘mannerly’ and suggested a few things to help improve their services so as to curb such mishaps in the future. Some people do take action on the opinions of those they serve and it helps… Read more »

mamito

dose r wise THOUGHTS.GUYZ WHO IS TSHEPHO.I THINK HE OR SHE IS ALWAYS CUMING UP WITH SOMETHING THOUGHTFUL.WE R LIVING IN REALITY SO STOP WRITTING UR THOUGHTS.STOP FANTASISING.KNOW DAT UR ARTICLE IS READ BY MANY,NOT KIDS ONLY,EVEN PEOPLE WHO R TWENTY SOMTHING.THIS CREP IS FOR TEENAGERS.

VYKTOR

dats quite a mouthful and equally convincing for a pesen your age..lil piece of warnin,pliz be sure u r in ur right state of mind and up 4 whchevr result/outcome,aker waits gore go nale (double lines) le (a single line)?…..mare ken’ big up neh