16 October 2012

Zambia: Benefits of HIV/Aids Testing

THE problem of Human Immune-Deficiency Virus and Acquired Immune-Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is of global concern and it transcends race, occupation, gender and age. HIV/AIDS represents a global problem with broad socio-cultural, economic, political, ethnic and legal dimensions about the dynamics of the impact. Much has been learnt about the dynamics of the impact of HIV/AIDS the over last 20 years or so.

It is now recognised that vulnerability to the impact of HIV/AIDS should be perceived as a status in perpetual flux. The impact of the epidemic has permeated all systems, leaving a sense of loss of control and hopelessness as more and more infections are being reported.

However, it is also important that we also start considering the status and how to live positively. It would be interesting to note that from the time the virus was first diagnosed in Zambia, people have been able to live normal lives or more than 20 years. It does not simply mean that when one is tested positive for HIV, he/she will develop AIDS right there and then, NO!

There have actually been some people who have been exposed to the virus but have remained uninfected. Moreover, many infected people have remained well for more than a decade. It is also important that we also appreciate the current drug treatments which have prolonged lives and improved quality of AIDS outlook state.

The soliciting and introduction of a new anti-retro viral drug by our Government will also help improve the outlook for the eligible candidates in our nation.

Early in the AIDS epidemic, many people with AIDS had a rapid decline in their quality of life after their first hospitalisation, often spending a large portion of their remaining time in the hospital. Most people died within two years of developing AIDS.

The coming of another type of anti viral drug will help improve the methods of treatment and prevention of opportunistic infection like T.B. and retaining many people to their physical and mental wellbeing abilities.

Nevertheless, apart from additional drug cocktails on our line of prescription, there are also personal benefits to knowing your status as follows; it will motivate you to ensure you remain negative, engage in risk reduction behaviours, it will stimulate you as an individual to be responsible over your actions and you will definitely gain more knowledge on the epidemic.

Now that we have exposed the benefits of knowing our HIV status, it is essential for us to make a difference in someone's life by educating each other on this important topic.

The first and most important step in living a healthy positive life is self-disclosure in people you trust and feel may offer help or assistance when needed. AIDS has now become treatable but not curable with its palliative drugs, hence the need for ethical, licensed practitioners to see you today.

The author is a health practitioner and commentator.

Copyright © 2012 The Times of Zambia. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.