B.A.E – Before Anything Else

B.A.E - Before Anything Elsie - elsieisy blog - Slidesafe

Meeting Ernest

It was her first time at a bachelorette party. Nina, her best friend was getting married, so she had to go. It was an all-night event at one top club in Port-Harcourt. That was where she met her dream man, Ernest. She sat with her girls at the left corner of the hall, jesting and laughing. She noticed his full brown eyes staring right at her. Her friends teased and nudged her as if she had not noticed the stare.

Few minutes later, he walked up and made an introduction.

They soon became very close but were never intimate. Ernest was everything a lady could ever dream of, but still it wasn’t enough reason for her to have sex with him just yet. Her belief is that before anything can happen, she must be sure he is totally healthy – no sexually transmitted infections, nothing. Inasmuch as the attraction and temptations grew more pressing the more in love she fell with Ernest, Aisha insisted – no sex.

Losing Ernest

After three months, she lost Ernest. He broke up with her. He said, if she wouldn’t believe him when he said he is clean, if she won’t stop demanding to see his test results, then they shouldn’t be together. He is a very busy man, he said. He cannot leave his job to start presenting evidence for every information she asks for, just because he wants to be with her.

“Please, don’t laugh at me,” Aisha cried, opening up to Nina.

“Oh, darling,” Nina said, trying to comfort her, “But I told you. I’m sorry, but that was a dumb thing to do. If he says he’s clean, he’s clean.”

“Nina, you don’t understand. It’s about trust! Anybody can say anything, that’s easy. But you need to backup your words with action to be trustworthy.” Aisha protested.

“Oh come on, Aisha. A catch like Ernest? I insist that you were careless, and you shouldn’t be careless with a man like that. Now, he’s left you. Are you happy?”

“I wouldn’t have been happy either if I’d had sex with him, and tomorrow now find out he gave me something.”

 

Not So Dumb

If you’ve ever been an Aisha, and right now you’re second-guessing yourself, don’t. To some people, Aisha may seem dumb for allowing herself lose Ernest for something as trivial as test results. But was she really? The answer is No. The smartest decision you can make in any relationship is knowing your partner’s status. This is not an issue to take lightly. No one is worth compromising your sexual safety for. If they want you as much they claim, then there should be no secrets between you, especially secrets that could harm you.

The truth is that mutual testing can be a normal step in the progression of a relationship, because it signifies trust and commitment. If you consider yourself someone who is health conscious, this is one

way you can truly assess whether you’re safe with this person or if you’re at risk. And when you are testing together as a couple, you don’t have to have the uncomfortable conversation of asking someone if they’ve got anything (nobody likes that question). Asking won’t help you much, actually. And that’s because many people don’t screen themselves for STI regularly, therefore, they don’t know what’s going on with their sexual health.

Winning Back Ernest

Aisha and Ernest eventually made up, 6 weeks later after Ernest ended the relationship. It was Ernest who made the move. He called her one day, out of the blues, to apologise profusely for the way he treated her the last time they spoke.

He said he had been scared of testing himself, having not particularly been safe with the women he’d been with in the past. He was afraid he’d test positive, and that she’d dump him when she sees his result. That’s why he decided to dump her first. But that ever since breaking it off with her, he’d been thinking about what she’d told him. Now, he was ready. He wanted to prove to her he was the man she believes him to be: dependable and protective. If she wanted him to test for STI, he will.

However, he said, he wasn’t lying when he said he was very busy. Finding time to go to a hospital will be a toughie.

Too busy to visit the clinic

There are many busy men and women out there like Ernest who do not have enough time to visit a clinic or lab. Then there are those who generally hate ‘hospital smell’. With a pack of Sunstone or Sunstone couple, you’re taken care of this. You can simply test and know your HIV, Hepatitis B and Syphilis status at the comfort of your home and then you get instant result. The World Health Organisation has also recommended self testing as B.A.E in every relationship.

Condoms don’t protect from all sexualy transmitted infections. Abstinence as well is never enough to say you are free from contracting these infections. For instance, though Hepatitis B can be sexually transmitted, there are other non-sexual means of contracting it – like getting in contact with the body fluid of an infected person, sweat inclusive. Syphilis, being a contact STD, means you can get it from a skin-to-skin contact with an infected area, whether or not you have sex with the infected person.

Better Together

The solution is simple. If your partner suggests testing for STDs, visit www.slidesafe.ng or call 07046283306 to get a pack of Sunstone Couple. Test together and save yourself the whole lotta heartache.

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