The Infected lovers ,Talatu and Emmanuel( not their real names) met in 2014 when the former was looking for a job at a government agency in the state capital. After this, they fell in love.
Narrating her story to newsmen she said:
“I love him. I still do. The love was so strong that I gave him all my heart. We had unprotected sex at different times. I was so much in love that I never cared whether we used a condom or not. I was not even scared of being pregnant. He too never bothered to use a condom.
“Then, I didn’t know he was HIV positive and he never told me. Later, my sister, a nurse, told me she learnt that he (Emmanuel) is HIV positive and that I should search his room. She gave me the name of the drug he was using. But I never found any. In order to be sure I was not already infected, I went for HIV/AIDS test and it showed that I was negative. That calmed my nerves.
“But early this year, I found out I was getting regularly sick. I used to feel hot and tired easily. After repeated medications for malaria, I didn’t get better. Then I started depreciating in size. I was advised to go for HIV test.
“The lady at the laboratory handed the result to me and told me to see the doctor. She raised my curiosity when she told me she couldn’t tell me the result. The doctor then dropped the bombshell. I was devastated. So, in anger, I went to confront my boyfriend with the news but he denied.
“I started crying and he consoled me; we had already made arrangements for our wedding. It was a day before we went for counselling at the church that he told me the truth. Sometimes, we quarrel over this and I used to call him the ‘devil.’ But he kept on consoling me.”
Despite this Last week Saturday at a popular church in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital,she got married to Emmanuel at a lavish ceremony attended by reporters.
According to the couple, the church consented to the wedding because both of them are HIV positive. The church was filled to capacity as well-wishers, family and friends of the couple attended the occasion.
The couples, who spoke in separate interviews with newsmen shortly after the wedding, said they were happy.
“In fact, I am overwhelmed. Today is my day and I never expected this crowd on my wedding day. I really appreciate everyone who took time out of their schedule to honour us. It is a wonderful union indeed. This joy is unquantifiable and there is no day in my life that is as important as this day.”
Emmanuel said he would have missed a lot in life if he had not met Talatu. “My wife is a very loving and caring woman, incomparable to any other woman. In fact, if I had not married her, I would have missed a lot of things in life,” he stated.
Sunday Punch , however, noticed that although there was joy written on John’s face, she did not hide her regret.
“I really appreciate God for making it possible to witness this day alongside my lovely husband. The marriage is an act of God. I thank God He has finally joined us together as husband and wife.
“I pray that the love that binds us together would continue forever and ever in Jesus’ name. I pray that the marriage will be a success. I have forgiven him but he cheated me by hiding the truth that he is HIV positive from me. If he had told me his HIV status, it’s either I accepted or rejected his marriage proposal. Although I have forgiven him and accepted my fate, sometimes I wish I never met him.”
Talatu, looking into the future added that she learnt from her story and had taken a bold step to move on with her life whether HIV positive or negative.
“My regret is that I will always be on drugs for the rest of my life. He even warned me not to tell my family about my status. I wished that I remained a virgin. I also regret not using condoms while the courtship lasted.
“Sometimes, if you are in love, you will be fooled. I advise young ladies to be careful. It is better to listen to wise counsel than bear the consequences of wrong decisions. I have learnt my lessons.”