Today is World AIDS Day 2014.
Know your bodies
The stats may not be fully known, but the estimates are in the millions of those who have gone by reason of AIDS. Big names, somebodies, 'any bodies', nobodies, the first two probably knowing and finding some respite maybe in medicine to arrest the rampaging HIV that presents AIDS.
The 'any bodies' are those who probably do not know that they have HIV and might well learn that they have it when they have developed AIDS. Yet not all hope is lost, people with medical intervention have come back from the life-threatening claws of AIDS to live lives just affected by HIV.
The nobodies however are those who have despite knowledge of their conditions neither have access to treatments, monitoring or drugs to arrest HIV and eventually succumb to AIDS.
Knowledge is progress
My view of the World AIDS Day is for the 'any bodies' and nobodies to become somebodies, people who know their status because they have access to be tested regularly. Who when tested have the counselling and information to make informed choices and if found to be HIV positive have access to medical expertise and drugs to live productive lives.
Being infected with HIV does not have to be a life sentence, it is a manageable condition with easy to use medication and a wealth of support and expertise that means no one has to suffer alone.
Beyond this, we need to move beyond the stigma of HIV and AIDS. All sorts of circumstances might have brought on the disease by commission, omission, happenstance or accident, there is no need to be judged or be judgemental.
Knowing the truth
We also need to move the management of HIV/AIDS out of the domain of desperation where charlatans, snake-oil merchants and so-called faith healers prey on the vulnerable for profit and fame.
HIV/AIDS is a medical condition, first and foremost; any assumed or considered change to that condition must always be assessed fully from a medical perspective. This is regardless of whether the person believes they are healed or they believe progression of the disease has been halted.
It is pertinent that HIV/AIDS remains under the supervision of qualified medical personnel.
Know your life
And so, on this World AIDS Day, this is what I advise.
- · Know your status and renew this knowledge at least every year. Get TESTED regardless.
- · If your status indicates being HIV positive, seek immediate medical intervention, you might be put on ARVs and these drugs are usually free.
- · Do not for the fear of the knowledge of your status allow HIV to waste you away, there is abundant help for you to have a useful life.
- · If you have exposed yourself in unsafe activity, enquire if you can have access to PrEP, this like the morning after pill.
- · We are all sexual beings, it is a natural human need. Do not be embarrassed about your sexual life that you deny yourself opportunities to live longer after you have discovered you have a sexually transmitted infection, no matter how minor it looks, seek help and remedy.
- · Learn more about HIV/AIDS and know how to keep your health and yourself safe.
The AIDS Ribbon is courtesy of PhotoBucket