The GHI , Ogun State World AIDS Day Programme is here…
The 2017 theme is “Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnerships” (PEPFAR, HIV.gov) while the WHO is focusing on everyone’s Right to Health.
Beautiful programme organised by the Heart 2 Heart Unit; General Hospital, Ifo in Ogun State.
The 2017 programme started with a health outreach at the Ifo main Market on 30 December, 2017.
Highlights of today’s programme at the Heart 2 Heart included:
i. Testimonies from members of the support group. HIV is no longer a dreadful disease. People living with HIV (PLWH) are lovely testimonies of the advances that have been made in the research for a lasting cure for HIV. Complete adherence to the drug regimen provides reduction in the HIV viral load and a better life… “Mr Philip” ; a PLWH gave a testimony of how he helped a man who was newly diagnosed by sharing his own status and how he manages his life…despite HIV.
HIV is not a reason for despair or depression. Diabetes, Hypertension and other killers require daily medication and adherence to care. Reference was made to President Olusegun Obasanjo who recently disclosed that he had been managing Diabetes for more than 30 years. Some of his peers had fallen by the wayside as a result of the disease.
ii. Another PLWH, shared her own story and demonstrated the valid fact that HIV is not transmittable only by sex. Other routes of infection include use of unsterile needles by hairdressers; aboki “cut your nails” nail clippers and other sharing of sharp objects or materials capable of transferring blood.
iii. A cure for HIV is in the pipeline. The “Berlin Patient” and other examples including the Ifo example named “Emeka” have shown that it is possible to be cured of the HIV virus.
As the Small pox virus example shows… HIV is well on the way to becoming a historical relic.
One other evidence of this is seen in the fact that children of PLWHs are born negative and remain negative. Medical advances help to prevent the transfer of the virus from mother to the child.
iv. Lecture on the dreadful marriage between HIV and TB. Ways to prevent and avoid the two infections at once. The TB mycobacterium is in most persons but natural immunity is able to suppress it. However, because HIV attacks immune cells; persons living with HIV are easily susceptible to TB.
*Thus, it is very important to catch TB on time. The test and treatment is free.*
Some of the symptoms to watch for :
-Cough that lasts more than 2 weeks (non HIV) ; 3 days if you have HIV.
– Pain in the upper abdominal area.
If you notice any of these symptoms in anyone; please send them straight to the hospital… Most government hospitals run TB testing and Treatment free.
v. The HIV testing and treatment programme is basically free due to the support of funding partners and international donor agencies. However, some accessory monitoring tests that were initially free when the programme started are no longer free , due to the scaling down of support. But it is noteworthy that the HIV testing, CD4 and Viral load tests are still free.
vi. Stigmatisation was strongly condemned. It is a deplorable practice to point to anyone with HIV and mock them. Illness and Death are human challenges that do not discriminate. Many ailments and deaths are recorded due to other diseases. No one should be mocked for having HIV.
vii. Disclosure of HIV status to at least one trusted person is very important. It helps spouses realise that if their own spouse who still looks good can be HIV positive, any of the “extras” that look like variety outside could also be a potential carrier. So, stop saying variety is the spice of life… To avoid becoming a carrier of various ailments.
viii. Protection of others is very important even if you are a carrier of the virus. Do not become careless simply because you already have the virus.
ix. Finally, correct adherence to drug regimens was strongly emphasized. It is a lifesaver.
The programme also had other tantalising highlights. 2 uniformed groups were in clear attendance. One prominent group was wearing a really nice blue and pink Ankara in different styles. Investigations showed that the Support group members bought and shared this Ankara material. The second group wore a blue T-shirt that also proclaimed *Coughing? Think TB…Get tested*
A DJ was also on hand to provide cool music that attendees swayed to…
Indeed , World AIDs Day, 2017 at the General Hospital Ifo, was a lovely celebration. How did the celebration go on your end?
Many thanks to Dr. Somade (MD), Dr Soetan, Matron Kujenya , Matron Agboola , Mrs. Bola Alabi, Mrs Morayo Ahari , Miss Adeosun and all other Heart 2 Heart staff that organised this wonderful programme.