Some members of group two (2) during the Radio Discussion at Radio Ultimate 94.7
Group Two members went to Ultimate Radio to educate people over the waves on HIV and AIDS in fulfillment of an assignment given to them by Dr Felicia Odame course facilitator on Gender and HIV/AIDS in Africa. This was executed on the faithful day of 19th March 2019 at exactly 8:00 am. We spent exclusively thirty minutes on air with our advocacy program but realizing the broad nature of the Topic HIV/AIDS, we carefully selected per our discretion what we thought was suitable and relevant for the consumption of the entire session. We very much knew that during the questions session callers who wanted to know more about an area which was not captured during our discussion could easily asked and we would aptly respond professionally.
After our discussion and during the questions session, several people called to contribute their quota which were just relevant and also to refute some claims we made. Below are some of such cases.
A caller called by name Adam Ali who was a native and lived in Bamahu, he refuted our history on the inception of the Virus HIV, he referred as to the Internet precisely Google search engine which in short identified the HIV was transmitted by a chimpanzee instead of homosexuals. We made him understand that he is right but quickly added that there is no single truth about how and where the virus first surfaced since is history and everyone is entitled to that discretion to write on where and how this virus came from.
Also, Mulumba Ngmenlabagna Songsore had an encounter a native who gave him oral story which reflects what happened in his life in the local dialect (Dagaare) that his one his rival wife transmitted the virus through food thus by mixing infected blood with food for him to eat. We made him to understand that those are mere fictions that are not scientifically verifiable. We all use to think taking blood of infected patients through the moth as food substance can affect a person, but science has proved otherwise. Science has told us that a person can only be affected through blood to blood contact.
It was interesting that, yet another caller argued that HIV can be cured through Bitter Kola. He was of the view that he has seen an infected person who got cured from the HIV and AIDS after taking the kola nut diet. He suggested that the government in collaboration with the health ministry and other research bodies should formalize this acclaimed local medication that can heal the HIV and AIDS virus. We responded that yes it might just be true in that miracles can happen but despite the virus is subject to been suppressed and making the virus dormant when one takes such medication but that does not mean the virus is totally eradicated from your system. Medications such as HAARTS, 3TC and others does similar to the virus but that does not mean that it clears the virus from your system.
Interestingly, a listener sent a message suggesting that all HIV/AIDS patients should be confined in a camp to avoid infecting others. But we advised that is not possible and per human rights law is an abuse hence what he can do is just to stay safe by abstinence, being faithful to your partner and condom use.
Excerpts of Presentation
HIV/AIDS are abbreviations which means Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome respectively.
The history of HIV and AIDS epidemic began in illness, fear and death as the world faced a new and unknown virus. However, scientific advances such as the development of antiretroviral drugs, have enabled people with access to treatment to live longer and healthy lives with HIV. HIV/AIDS was in the dark until it was discovered in Los Angeles and New York in the year 1981. This discovery came to fore when some homosexual men with symptoms of a disease that are now considered as explicit symptoms of AIDS. The immune system is one of the key propeller of human life but an important aspect of the immune system which is the CD4 cells in the homosexuals had a severe reduction in this type of cell in the blood.
There is unfortunately no cure for this virus but this is virus can be tamed especially with those living it through the medication of some retroviral drugs some of which include AZT, 3TC, Didnosine, Haarts, Lidovudine, DDL and many more. HIV weakens the immune system which guards the body against disease whiles the white cells attack and kills all intruding germs. When HIV goes into ones system, it firs attacks the white cells (CD4), this attack stops the white cells from being able to protect the body and further weakens the immune system rendering it vulnerable to be attacked.
HIV is found in high significant concentrations in body fluids such as
- Breast milk transmitted from infected mother to child during breast feeding
- Viginal fluids
It has been proved statistically that the transmission of the HIV virus accounts for about 80 percentage getting infected through below types of sexual act
- Penile – anal sex
- Oral sex
- Penis – anal sex
Mother to child transmission accounts for fifteen percent from an infected mother to the baby during Pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding. Blood related transmission accounts to about 5 percent.
Factors That Fuel the Spread of HIV
- Gender Inequality
- multiple sexual partners
- Alcohol and drug use (Injection of heroine)
- Widow inheritance
- Biological make up of female (wide vaginal surface area)
- Gender based violence
- Stigma and discrimination
Signs and Symptoms of AIDS
People who have been infected with this deadly virus will experience the following signs in their lives, skin cancer also known as Kaposi’s Sarcoma, nights sweats, significant weight loss, continued, fatigue and chronic diarrhea which usually spans over a month, protracted fever which is over a months . Some other signs include pain in areas of the abdomen, cough can be dry, gastrointestinal; nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, ulcers or white tongue, groin sores or swelling, in the throat difficulty in swallowing or soreness, oral thrush, pneumonia and many others.
Basic Prevention Approaches
SONG Oh yes we know HIV still exist so all we need to do is to prevent ourselves from it, because it has no cure and has no respect for anyone… ABC
A means abstinence (ABC)
B means be faithful (ABC)
C means condom use…
It must be noted that D which means DRUG USE or TREATMENT is yet another approach that can prolong lives of infected people.
Other Effective Prevention Approach
- HIV education
- Interpersonal communication
- Peer education and persuasion
- STI management
- Blood safety
- Treatment using ARV
- Anti-stigma campaigns
- HIV testing and risk reduction counseling
Why it is important to know one’s HIV status
Several people can only commence treatment of HIV if and only they know that they are living with the virus. It is interesting that about 9.4 million people do not know they are living with HIV according to UNAIDS, 2018 WAD commemoration.
Taking an HIV test also provide opportunity for a person to test for other diseases such as hepatitis, diabetes, tuberculosis and high blood pressure.
Knowing your status enable you to stay alive and look after love ones, it save lives and helps achieve viral suppression.
It is also important especially for pregnant mothers to know their status in other to prevent the transmission of the virus from mothers to their newly born babies
It has been stated that females dominate in general statistics of HIV infection and they are more prone to getting the virus. Significant amount of new infections has females dominating in numbers. Below are some of the reasons why HIV excessively affect females.
- Females are the ones been raped
- Females are the ones been defiled
- Widowhood inheritance
- Females assume care taking role for the sick and home keeping
- They also lack control or say of sex health rights
- Male supremacy in the control of economic resources
Let’s all stay safe and be wise
HIV/AIDS is real!!!