When we discuss HIV, prevention is key BUT even for those who may have the virus already it is heartwarming to know that there is treatment so that you can live the life you want to live with or without HIV. Our goal in treatment is to ensure the virus is undetectable because with HIV virus “undetectable, equals untransmittable.”
What does it mean to bring up “HIV/AIDS in the COVID-19 era?”, both are viruses and have some similarities such as stigmatization and fear to a large extent. Medical Science has come a long way in managing both conditions and STIGMATIZATION has no place at all especially since it puts more people at risk. This is one of the reasons we need to EQUALIZE.
In Ghana over 345,000 people are living with HIV. 71% of this number know their status as being positive and 99% of this number (71%) are on appropriate treatment. We all need to strive hard to know our status and take the appropriate steps since the 29% who are not “aware” of their status may continue to spread the disease.
“The inequalities which perpetuate the AIDS pandemic are not inevitable; we can tackle them. This World AIDS Day, 1 December, UNAIDS is urging each of us to address the inequalities which are holding back progress in ending AIDS.”
*The “Equalize” slogan is a call to action. It is a prompt for all of us to work for the proven practical actions needed to address inequalities and help end AIDS. These include:
How HIV may be transmitted:
HIV cannot be transmitted by;
Mosquitoes, ticks, or other insects. Through saliva, tears, or sweat. By hugging, shaking hands, sharing toilets, sharing dishes, or closed-mouth or “social” kissing with someone who has HIV. Through other sexual activities that don't involve the exchange of body fluids (for example, touching). You definitely cannot get HIV through the air either.
As the Ghana AIDS Commission celebrates its 20th anniversary we can boldly say, a lot has been done but there is still room to do more. This effort requires each and every one of us know our status, encourage others to test and take the right precautions and measures once we know our status.
AS ALWAYS LAUGH OFTEN, ENSURE HYGIENE, WALK AND PRAY EVERYDAY AND REMEMBER IT’S A PRICELESS GIFT TO KNOW YOUR NUMBERS (blood sugar, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, BMI)
Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel
Health Essentials Ltd/ Mobissel
*Dr. Essel is a medical doctor, holds an MBA and is ISSA certified in exercise therapy, fitness nutrition and corrective exercise. He is the author of the award-winning book, ‘Unravelling The Essentials of Health & Wealth.’
Thought for the week –“We have made progress in the national (Ghana) HIV response, though slow. Together we need to use strategic information, step up efforts to halt new infections and end AIDS by 2030” –Dr. Fred Nana Poku. Director, Technical Services, Ghana AIDS Commission.