Getting to zero: what is your HIV status?

by - Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Yesterday was World AIDS day. It was a day to show our support and share our concerns about the increasing spread of the Virus causing this disease. It seems as though we are not getting any results; tangible results seem to cause a stagnation in the statistic; maybe a regression even. The number of people getting infected and by estimation, that will get infected yearly is on an alarming increase.

Alarming statistics, isn't it?

Yesterday was a day to let people understand the dangers of living without knowing for sure whether that virus thrives in their systems or not. Better thing is that December 1 of every year was only dedicated to proper sensitization, it isn't limited to that day.

I am particularly elated about changes over the years as regards the day. More and more organizations are beginning to see the need to be a part of making efforts to reducing the level of ignorance of citizens of different countries in the world. Brand Kwara put together something really cool as Shuga Episodes were shown at Viva Cinema, Palms mall, Kwara State.

Me @ Brand Kwara's 'AIDSfree' day yesterday

For many reasons, people deliberately choose not to get tested. Some still hold the belief that if they have not been sleeping around they need not go for the test. I know that many of us have heard that HIV isn't only contracted through sexual intercourse. That fact is true because other ways are through blood transfusion, wound/cut exposure to the body fluid of an infected person, sharing of sharp objects. The World Health organisation (WHO) says that 45% of people living with HIV don't know it. 45% is a large percentage if you ask me.

I know that there are still a lot of people who think that going for the test is an indication of lack of faith and an evil pronouncement on oneself. Inasmuch as it is good to be optimistic, optimism doesn't expel the virus once contracted. You do not expect to do nothing and carry around HIV without a care in the world. I think it is not a wise move.

There are drugs out there to manage this infection. Just like the MC at the event said, 'once detected, it is just like malaria.' Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) has proven to be very effective. In fact, studies have shown that with ART, onward transmission is reduced. So, you see, it is safer to be sure and be helped than not.

Be sure

Everybody has a status; question is: do you know yours?

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