Reading Time: 3 minutes

I am writing this post in regards to the previous one. There were many biased responses and questions from people. Well, I have always liked discussing or writing on HIV and related topics, so that was the kind of go-ahead I have always waited for to write again. Don’t worry it’s not going to be an easy-read.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a special kind of virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome(AIDS). AIDS is a condition where progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive.

HIV infection occurs when there is transfer of an already contaminated blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculate, or breast milk between people. Within these body fluids, HIV is present as both free virus particles and virus within infected immune cells. Hence, extreme care should be taken in all procedures or acts that entails coming in contact with any of those fluids.

HIV infects vital cells in the human immune system such as helper T cells (specifically CD4+ T cells) and as a result leads to low levels of CD4+ T cells. This occurs through a number of mechanisms including: apoptosis of uninfected bystander cells, direct viral killing of infected cells, and killing of infected CD4+T cells by CD8 cytotoxic lymphocytes that recognize infected cells. When CD4+ T cell numbers decline below a critical level, cell-mediated immunity is lost, and the body becomes progressively more susceptible to opportunistic infections.

Having known the different ways HIV can be transmitted it is equally important that we stay abreast with its preventive measures and stick to them. Always bear in mind that it can be contacted through different means.

Actually, amazes me is the stigmatization that comes with this condition. Obviously, when allowed to get to the stage of full blown AIDS, it gives one the ghost-like and lifeless image but a lot can be done to avoid that stage.

HIV testing is very important and should be done as often as possible. It always comes with counselling, which would look into ones health and sexual history including other important aspects as well.

Thanks to free medication which is now available for its management. I would encourage anyone who is affected to stick to their drug- take your drug judiciously. In the HIV clinic, prior to the commencement of the drug they are classes to ascertain that sufferers are fully aware of their condition and how to live positively with it and to take their drugs judiciously. It implies that they take their drugs for the rest of their lives just like in the cases of diabetes and hypertension.

However, early detection and prompt commencement of drug makes a great health difference. The condition has become quite common lately. It’s not written on anyone’s forehead but it is how they manage themselves that matters.

Meanwhile, I would like us all to treat everyone with equal respect. For some that loses much weight in a short time and feel lots more sick, it’s not just the condition that takes them that fast but the way we treat them and the already assumed perception they have. They feel like they are mere shadows of themselves while they are still living. I know it can be difficult for us to see these people differently but we should try and be the reason they smile and find the strength and more reasons to live. All we need to do is to make sure we are always safe while dealing with them. It’s neither airborne nor can be gotten by mere touch.

 

Thank Goodness!

Fortunately with proper antenatal clinic visits, infected mothers can give birth to HIV- negative babies. Awesome! Isn’t that great? I mean there are so many instances in life where innocent children become victims but here, there is hope for them.

Having cared for some affected individuals warms my heart. There was a time I cared for an infected man, who already was critically ill. Beside him, was always his kind-hearted pregnant wife, each time I came we prayd together. I couldn’t help but thought the woman, her hope, future and that of their unborn baby.
Finally, it is not like they have lost their personalities or no longer have a life, they still do and need love and affection like everyone else. Their situation should not be treated with so much isolation because I do not think they are guilty of a certain abominable crime. Anyone can be a victim.

Leave a comment