It’s one of those days that you are not too busy and at the same time there is no dulling moment.
The peak of the day came when a young man enters the laboratory reception and wishes to run a confirmatory test for RVS.
Let us forget coding for a moment. RVS stands for retroviral screening. I said no coding, I know, but those who will still have to use google for the explanation of retroviral screening will still have need to do so. But revelling in the assumption that I am nice, I will save you some data and buy you some time.
First before I explain what RVS or retroviral screening means, I should intimate you on why health workers resort to using it as a form of Morse code for what is obviously a popular thing.
Why the use of RVS?
We know you are likely to be ‘lazy’ and at the same time there is a propensity for our mind to make a mountain out of an ant-hill (the Englishman will say a mole-hill, but I know ant-hill better). Therefore, before someone dies before they die, the mind needed to be calmed and tricked into something comfortable and at the same time convenient.
- It was a means of ensuring compliance. People are found missing between the consulting rooms and the laboratory. But since it was discovered that you are less likely to ‘google’ it (at the time), but more likely to ignore it, lesser people are being missed.
- It has been a means of telling the whole truth without the listener understanding it. Call it bamboozling and you will be right. Whoever hypothesised and experimented with the term should be awarded a Nobel Prize for…, I don’t know; or at least an igNobel prize. That effort worked.
- It was and is still a means of minimizing casualty. Apart from helping people to agree to being tested and apart from smoke-screening the real thing, the intention chiefly (my opinion) is that people may not develop many complications that are mainly psychological but present with symptoms like dizziness, palpitation, fainting and probably cardiac arrest. That is a definition of too much ado about something.
Lest you forget, “you” because I have never forgotten that I was telling a story and I have not even reached where the title is applicable. Just tag along and you will think twice before you eat fufu.
Before we delve back into the story, let me quickly explain what RVS is because I have promised to do so.
RVS: Retroviral Screening
Retroviral actually, is a broad description of RNA viruses. By this time you should know that this is not a textbook and eventually you will have to use the good ol’ google. I said (wrote actually) that because I know there will be someone who will ask what I meant by RNA viruses also. Before you prove the assumption true that you are lazy, just do your own assignment like the young man whose story I was telling did. Anyway, before you distracted me with your question, there are RNA and DNA viruses. But when health workers write Retroviral screening, they are more than likely referring to the one and only HIV. Retroviral screening is therefore the test procedure to determine if an individual is infected or not. The outcome is either negative or positive.
Now I said it and now you know what is meant by RVS, at least to the level that we all can relate with. Having said that, you should ask if I have not inadvertently defeated the purpose of “coding” the meaning. No, and you will understand why I disagree with that conclusion soonest.
Beware, don’t eat fufu!
I left off on the young man that wishes to run a confirmatory RVS. Well, for the record, the young man did not wish to run a confirmatory RVS neither did he wish to have a RVS done in the first place but as we say “he found himself in a circumstance beyond his control”.
My young client actually was tested and he found himself falsely reactive to one of the screening kits and was referred or rather, asked to go elsewhere for a confirmation and there and then I got myself a new friend to counsel.
During our extended period of discussion I discovered the young man has eaten fufu sometime before and therefore must of a necessity be ill-at-ease. The young man most likely has been sleepless since the first day he got a result tagged ‘REACTIVE’.
After discussing and paraphrasing the cause of HIV and how it is transmitted, it became clear he has been going about in the aura of an erroneous belief that being a male gives a degree of immunity to HIV rather than the fact that for every sexually transmitted infections, women are more at risk of being easily infected than men. Those two are similar, but are not the same.
Again, sex education has taught him that safe sex is possible, again that is erroneous.
Safe sex is a myth and a hoax. I expect hoaxslayer.com to have slain that by now.
In short, the fufu he had eaten has returned to take its pound of flesh.
This guy had a serious time of torture that would have been minimal if he had not eaten that fufu.
It has been found and proven that HIV is mostly transmitted by sexual intercourse. If my client has been keeping himself, he would have been easily calmed when I told him the outcome of the so called confirmatory test and I wrote “Not Reactive at the time of screening”.
He went and returned with more questions but also with a can of chilled malt *drink. After repeating to him what I have said earlier I further confirmed to myself this guy was not saying the complete truth when he said he has not been sexually active but eventually he did say, it has been long. Whether long ago or “short ago”, what will ask about the fufu you ate will ask.
When we were encoding, people who wanted to learn learned, now that RVS has been decoded, people who will still not learn will not learn. Beware, lest you eat the fufu of anguish.
Sexual purity is not just a religious mantra. It is the only sense that works. Anyone who thinks it does not work probably lacks common sense. That statement is not an insult coupled with the fact that common sense is not common therefore choose not to apologise for saying so.
*Fufu: This is a staple Ghanaian and Nigerian food that is prepared from cassava. It is used in a Yoruba adage loosely translated, “It is the one who eats fufu that acts in suspicion”. It is used in this article to mean premarital sex and extramarital affairs.
*drink: I thought you should know the end of the drink. I quickly drank it as if the young man will change his mind and take his drink back :). But with all seriousness, I pray he and others like him will change their mind about eating fufu. This kind of fufu does not nourish, it impoverishes.