Whether young or old, we are all prone to HIV infection at any given time. The best we can do is to take the very necessary measures to makes sure that we do not contract the virus.
These measures include using condoms when having sex, using sterilized needles, using PrEP and much more.
If the worst happens and you or anyone you know gets infected with HIV, don’t fret. It is not the end of everything. It isn’t a death sentence. You can still lead a great life and be as successful as you had planned.
Many people lose hope and even tend to commit suicide. This is NOT the way to go as you can still live long to see your grandchildren, to oversee your real estate projects or support your children through campus.
The CDC website profiles many people who have lived a healthy, happy life — some got infected in the early 90’s and are still alive. You too can.
“After my diagnosis, it took me a while to accept the fact that being HIV-positive is not the end of the world: It’s just the beginning of a whole new way of life,” Cedric says.
So the real question is, can HIV be treated?
Yes, HIV can be treated. There is a common misconception that it cannot be treated.
Many people living with HIV begin taking treatment and they stay healthy as a result.
Current treatment for HIV is not a cure for HIV but it can keep HIV under control. Antiretroviral treatment does its work by keeping the level of HIV in your body low (your viral load). This will allow your immune system to recover and stay strong.
Maintaining a low viral load also helps to prevent HIV from being passed on. Having good health care and treatment enables many people with HIV to live just as long as people who don’t have HIV.
One can continue to have relationships, to work or study, to make plans, to have a family – whatever may have been done before HIV diagnosis.
How and when to start treatment?
The only way to know whether you have HIV is to get tested so that you can start treatment. There are a lot of health care centers which can provide assistance with this. There is also the self-testing kit recently launched by government.
Without treatment, those living with HIV can become ill simply because of the damage that HIV does to the immune system.
Your immune system is your body’s way of protecting itself from illnesses that are caused by germs, bacteria or infections.
It is highly recommended that people living with HIV immediately start antiretroviral treatment. Without treatment, HIV slowly weakens the immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off illness or infection.
Feel free to visit a healthcare professional and discuss the best time to start treatment.
Bottom line, get tested, start treatment and live well. #AnzaSasa