The Last Kiss is best served hot…
THE LAST KISS
Curtis and Alicia are in the car park of the plush edifice that hosts Opambuor TV studios.
Swiftly, Curtis locks the car with the remote after helping Alicia down from the metallic black 2017 Land Cruiser Prado he owns, thanks to his employer.
He takes her by the hand and heads toward the reception area.
Alicia is still not too happy about appearing on a TV show.
She thinks the timing is wrong especially since Cynthia has pushed for the case to be heard in court.
The hearing is a few days away and she thinks they could wait till after the court proceedings but Curtis thinks now is the time if she really wants to make a difference in the lives of people living with HIV.
On the other hand, the thought that her story can inspire others urged her to accept the invitation Samiratu Halidu, a warm-hearted Broadcast Journalist, has extended her a few weeks back about hosting her on her TV show after the PLWHA group launch which made headlines in the newspapers.[stextbox id=”alert” caption=”WARNING”]Exlusive Content to aaron-ansah-agyeman.com Do not copy or share on any other site. Do not share on any WhatsApp, Facebook or Social Media page. ONLY SHARE THE LINKS TO THE STORY[/stextbox]
Alicia has nothing to be ashamed of. People have always asked why she has decided to go public with her diagnosis instead of keeping it to herself and she has always told them she believes God wants hee to inspire other people living with the disease. As long as Curtis is I n on it, she has no problem whatsoever. She is thrilled by the invitation and the opportunity to inspire others who find themselves in the same situation to take charge of their lives no matter what life dishes out.
The receptionist welcomes them warmly and ushers them into a beautiful lounge.
Ekow and Selina are already waiting in the lounge.
Samiratu comes to exchange pleasantries and takes them to the studio in preparation for the “Making a Difference” show.
Alicia looks around the studio. It is her first time in one.
The studio is well-furnished. There is a platform with two stuffed chairs facing the cameras and a long sofa behind the cameras.
The cameramen and the technicians are all ready for action.
Samiratu ushers Curtis, Ekow and Selina to the sofa and leads Alicia to the platform.
She gives Alicia a rundown on how it is going to go after the makeup artists have freshened them up a bit.
The camera rolls and the signature tune of the show plays.
Samiratu, looking elegant in a traditional dress with a beautiful headgear, smiles at the camera and speaks.
Good evening cherished viewers.
Welcome to the maiden edition of our Making A Difference TV show. The objective of the show is basically to inspire people with various challenges not to give up.
Sometimes in life, harsh realities are thrown at us and the first thing that comes to mind is to throw in the towel. This show is to celebrate people who have conquered their challenges and made a difference in society thereby setting an example for others to follow. We have as our guest today Mrs. Alicia Owusu-Mensah.”[stextbox id=”black” caption=”GRAB YOUR COMPLETE COPY”]
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Samiratu turns to face Alicia, “Mrs. Owusu-Mensah, welcome to the show.”
Thank you for the opportunity, Samira. It’s an honour to be here.
Can you tell us a little bit of yourself, Alicia?
My name is Alicia. First of three kids. An Investment Analyst. Married to an amazing man. I’m HIV positive.
HIV positive. That is a big challenge, right?
Tell us, Alicia, how did you feel when they broke the news to you?
Well, I felt very scared and worried not just for my health but also how people were going to see me. I wanted the floor to open up and just swallow me. I honestly did not believe what they were telling me. In reality, I felt lost and angry.
So, what changed? Why did you decide to put your fears behind you?
For starters, I must say I have an incredibly super loving husband. He is everything right in my life. We took the test again at a different facility and the results were the same. My husband and the group of doctors I was exposed to helped me accept the situation but trust me when I tell you it is not easy.
I started the special clinics for People Living with HIV/AIDS and gradually it seemed all was not lost. I met these young people, who were also positive and my heart went to them. Looking back, I think it was then that I decided to do something to help take away the fear, shame and loneliness I saw on almost all the faces of the HIV/AIDS patients I met.
That is very thoughtful of you. How did your friends, family and in laws take it when you told them?
This is not pleasant news so it took some time for some to really come to terms with it. I remember seeing tears in my Dad’s eyes that day. I’ve never seen any form of moist in my Dad’s eyes ever. My mom almost passed out. My siblings are stronger than I thought and my in-laws were shocked to the bones. It is normal to let this kind of news sink in. Most people I knew before the diagnosis wants nothing to do with me but my true friends have been very supportive. And now I have a bigger family, the PLWHA Rock 2 which was renamed and launched Journey of Hope Group.
How do you feel about your diagnosis now?
I am no longer afraid or ashamed. I feel empowered because I realized HIV is not an obstacle to living life to the fullest. It’s not an obstacle to finding and keeping love. It’s not an obstacle in nurturing relationships or intimacy. And it’s definitely not an obstacle to following your dreams.
Advances in science have made it possible for me to enjoy life as much as I can just like anybody else.
To stay healthy, all I need to do is take just one pill a day. That’s it. The virus is not even detectable in my blood right now. That does not been I have been cured, all it means is that the drug is working well.[stextbox id=”grey” caption=”BE OUR FRIEND“]
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And the future, I know is even brighter. Modern medicine is progressing at a pace that we’ve never seen before, which means that perhaps one day I’ll be cured. One thing I do know, however, is that in order to make progress in our quest for more effective treatments and our goal to finding a cure for HIV, we need to know who has the virus. Testing for HIV is a must.
Testing, that is the part most people don’t want to hear. Do you think it’s really necessary?
Testing is really important. I know the thought of finding out you are positive is paralyzing but it is the only way that can enable you take steps to living healthy. Knowing your status and doing something about it is the best option instead of letting the virus have its leisure in your body and then your health deteriorates rather sharply and losing it prematurely.
What’s your advice to PLWHAs?
To be themselves. They should not allow the disease limit them. It should empower them. They should not live in fear or shame. They should open up and talk about their status. Yes, they should just LIVE.
What would you say to our viewers?
The little I can say is for people to be a little tolerable to people living with HIV/AIDS. The stigmatization is too much. Anyone can contract the disease. It is true those who have multiple sexual partners are at a higher risk of contracting and spreading the disease but one can contract it in any other form. You can get it through sharing of sharp objects, blood transfusions etc.
Thank you so much Alicia for the time.
Happy to be here too.
Samira gets up and gives her a bear hug.
“You’ve just made another friend, Alicia. I’m really proud of you.”
The signature tune comes on again and the technicians put out their equipment.
Curtis hugs his wife and gives Samiratu a brief hug.
Ekow and Selina join in the hugging spree and the five occupants of Studio 1 at the plush Opambuor TV offices engage in an open discussion on ways to improve the awareness and education of PLWHAs.[stextbox id=”info” caption=”JOIN US ON WHATSAPP“]
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