Together we can combat and prevent the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in South Sudan

Posted: December 12, 2016 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Health, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

It takes more than one person to transmit HIV. It takes more than one person to fight HIV. Affected or infected this is our fight. Let’s come together to fight HIV. KNOW YOUR STATUS Today. Together we can combat HIV.

By “Together We Can”, Juba, South Sudan

December 12, 2016 (SSB) — HIV/AIDS: HIV stand for human immunodeficiency virus, HIV can lead to the disease call AIDS, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Unlike some others viruses, the human body can’t get rid of HIV completely. So once you have HIV, you have it for life.

HIV attacks the body immune system, specifically the CD4 cells (T cell), which help the immune system fight off infection. If left untreated, it reduces the number of T cell in the body, making person more likely to get infections, over time it can destroy so many cell that body can’t fight off infections and diseases.

These infections are called opportunistic infections or diseases. Cancer take advantage of weak system too, and this is when a person develop AIDS, it the last state of HIV INFECTIONS.

HIV is totally, preventable

HIV is totally preventable. Together we can avoid new infections. Here is how you prevent it. Condom is the main prevention method majority of people know, not only protect HIV infection it also prevent unwanted pregnancies and other STD. If condom is used in right way it can do its purpose

Abstinence, is every effective way to stay away from all sorts of trouble including heartbreak. Be faithful, HIV infection is growing among the married couples, if you are faithful then you are protecting your family, or pray you don’t get caught and also use condom 🙂

PrEP (pre- exposure prophylaxis ) is a medication that is taken to prevent the virus before you get exposed to it, it use by people who are at substantial risk of getting the virus, taking one pill a day will prevent you from getting the infection, it refuses the risk to 92 %

PEP (post-Exposure prophylaxis) is the medication that is taken immediately after a possible exposure, e.g. when the condom broke, raped, accidental sex which you didn’t get time for condom the list is long. This medication is taken within 72 hours of possible for it to be effective. You can get it from a nearby medical facility. Most people have fear to go to the clinic to ask for it. Sex is a natural act for adult and seeking for it is being responsible.

HIV treatment as a prevention method to those who are infected. Taking ART ( anti-retro viral therapy) will allow you to stay healthy, its help to reduce the amount of virus in the body with keep immune system functional and prevent illness, its help to prevent transmission to others through sex, needle sharing and from mother to child during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

If you are living with HIV, there are resources that will help you understand the importance of treatment for staying healthy. If you are negative kindly help fight HIV by, protecting yourself, for preventing oneself is an act of charity. Together we can fight HIV/AIDS.

How HIV is spread?

You can get or transmit HIV only through specific activities. Most commonly, People get or transmit HIV through sexual behaviors and needle or syringe use. Only certain fluids from a person who has HIV can transmit HIV. Blood (open cut, transfusion etc), Semen, Pre- seminal fluids (B job), Rectal fluids (anal sex), Vaginal fluids, Breast milk etc.

Anyone can get HIV, it doesn’t discriminate, from Rich or poor, White or black, Tall or short, Fat or thin, Christian, Muslim, Hindus, Jews or pagans, Old or young, Literate or illiterate, among others.

How is HIV treated?

HIV is treated using a combination of medicines to fight HIV infection. This is called antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART isn’t a cure, but it can control the virus so that you can live a longer, healthier life and reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to others.
ART involves taking a combination of HIV medicines (called an HIV regimen) every day, exactly as prescribed.

These HIV medicines prevent HIV from multiplying (making copies of itself), which reduces the amount of HIV in your body. Having less HIV in your body gives your immune system a chance to recover and fight off infections and cancers. Even though there is still some HIV in the body, the immune system is strong enough to fight off infections and cancers.

By reducing the amount of HIV in your body, HIV medicines also reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others.

ART is recommended for all people with HIV, regardless of how long they’ve had the virus or how healthy they are. If left untreated, HIV will attack the immune system and eventually progress to AIDS.

HIV drug classes

HIV medicines are grouped into six drug classes according to how they fight HIV. The six drug classes are: The six drug classes include more than 25 HIV medicines that are approved to treat HIV infection. Some HIV medicines are available in combination (in other words, two or more different HIV medicines are combined in one pill.)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides guidelines on the use of HIV medicines to treat HIV infection.  Guidelines recommend starting ART with a regimen of three HIV medicines from at least two different drug classes.

Choosing an HIV Regimen

The choice of HIV medicines to include in an HIV regimen depends on a person’s individual needs.

When choosing an HIV regimen, people with HIV and their health care providers consider the following factors:

  1. Other diseases or conditions that the person with HIV may have
  2. Possible side effects of HIV medicines
  3. Potential interactions between HIV medicines or between HIV medicines and other medicines the person with HIV is taking
  4. Results of drug-resistance testing (and other tests). Drug-resistance testing identifies which, if any, HIV medicines won’t be effective against a person’s HIV.
  5. Convenience of the regimen. For example, a regimen that includes two or more HIV medicines combined in one pill is convenient to follow.
  6. Any issues that can make it difficult to follow an HIV regimen, such as a busy schedule that changes from day to day
  7. Cost of HIV medicines

There are several recommended HIV regimens, but selecting the best regimen for a particular person depends on the factors listed above.

How long does it take for the ART treatment to work?

ATR treatment aim is to reduce a person’s viral load to an undetectable level. Undetectable viral load means the level of HIV in the blood is too low to be detected by a viral load test. Once the person starts taking HIV medication according to prescription, it’s possible to have an undetected viral within 3 to 6 months.

However having an undetectable viral load DOESN’T MEAN A PERSON IS CURED. An undetectable viral load shows that the ART treatment is working. Effective ART help people with HIV live longer and reduces the risk of HIV transmission.

Go for testing

Start by knowing your status today. The only way to know, your HIV status for sure is to get tested. Know your status and be a life saver. People either don’t want to get tested (or they don’t suspect that they could be infected), or they don’t have access to HIV testing services.

This, in part, could be due to social stigma and discrimination, which is an ongoing problem in the campaign to end HIV/AIDS. The root of this widespread prejudice is a lack of education.

Together we can fight a personal fight that add value to life. December being the month of World AIDS day, let’s campaign to raise awareness of about HIV/AIDS in South Sudan.

It takes more than one person to transmit HIV. It takes more than one person to fight and win HIV war. Together we can join hands to combat HIV. Take care of yourself now for tomorrow, and stay healthy always.

Together we can fight HIV/AIDS. Kindly share as an act of charity. You can follow “Together We Can” via Facebook page here or reach via email: togetherwecandoitinss@gmail.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address, the city and the country you are writing from.

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