Because I was HIV positive, they made me sleep in the open for two years – Adeola, survivor –

Because I was HIV positive, they made me sleep in the open for two years – Adeola, survivor


By Chioma Obinna

Today, the official prevalence of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Nigeria is 3.2% among the adult population, which means that around 3.4 million Nigerians they live with the virus. Meanwhile, many people living with the virus in the country do not receive the care and treatment they need. As of March 2017, the report of the United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS) showed that only 1.4 million people living with HIV and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in Nigeria registered in the treatment.


According to UN objective 90-90-90 to end the HIV epidemic by 2020, 90% of people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of all HIV People with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression. He emphasized that ending the AIDS epidemic is more than a historical obligation for 39 million people who have died of the disease.

However, reports from other countries such as the United States have shown that many people living with HIV live longer and healthier today, thanks to treatment, strict adherence to medications and what is owed and not badociated with HIV / AIDS.

Many reports have shown that improving access to HIV testing and treatment saves lives and prevents new infections. According to the report of the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States (CDC), eight out of ten HIV infections are transmitted by people who do not receive a diagnosis or do not receive treatment. Of the approximately 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States, 85% were diagnosed and knew they had HIV and 49% had the virus under control through HIV treatment, according to new CDC estimates based on the most recent national data for 2014 Studies have also shown that, among people who have achieved viral suppression, HIV is detectable only at very low levels in the blood or is undetectable with standard tests. It has also been confirmed that viral suppression allows people with HIV to live longer, healthier lives and drastically reduces the risk of transmitting HIV to others. Thanks to the experts who now control HIV through treatment, called viral suppression. However, Sunday Vanguard reports that reducing the number of undiagnosed HIV infections and getting more people to care presents the best opportunities to improve viral suppression in Nigeria.

Today, we can authoritatively report that many people living with AIDS (PVSS) even in Nigeria are also giving negative results. One of them, Ms. Adeola Ganiat Ajetunmobi, 23, is a living testimony of adherence to treatment. Although at first her experience was not acceptable, her strong will to survive made her overcome many challenges, including from her closest family.

Adeola was made to deal with discrimination, myth and superstition. Seeing her almost turned into a pariah in her father's house was enough discouragement, but she never allowed it to overwhelm her. "I went to the churches and they told me it was a spiritual attack, I prayed, but at the end of the day, I decided to go to the hospital because, even with the prayers, I still needed the doctors," she said.

"I suffered so much humiliation, so many sleepless nights." The humiliation did not improve since I traveled difficult roads for about two years. According to her, the friends who should normally comfort her went out on the street as the announcers of their situation. Adeola, who sees God's mercy as her saving grace, said: "I owe everything to God for the nature He has given me, I am naturally a strong person, nothing moves me." According to the survivor, who is now a Counselor of Youth Adherence for HIV, although his mother was by his side, she (mother) was also scared at the same time. However, her strong nature prepared her to face the head disease.

"I had sleepless nights, it boiled all over my body and, for years, I suffered from pus coming out of my body." At one point, I was thinking that it was spiritual, since I come from a wealthy home. I was finally confirmed two years later at the Randle Hospital in Lagos, and when I got there, they did not take care of me, I sat down, I fainted shortly after, and from that moment on, I did not know what really happened. "

The bad news spread like the fire of the wild bushes. The first message she received in her hand after she regained consciousness was from her closest friend: "I heard she is HIV positive."

Stigma and Discrimination

Adeola remembered how she was made to sleep at the pbad in her father's house for two years, it rained or not, due to her AIDS status.

"One thing about me is that in whatever situation I find myself in, I'm always strong." Before you knew it, the news was everywhere. "She's HIV positive." The stigma and discrimination took over everything around me, even my family and my blood relatives stayed away from me to the point where they refused to sit where I was sitting, it was so bad, anything I did then was a No one wanted to have anything to do with me. "

Although her mother took courage to stay with her, apparently out of ignorance about the disease, she was also afraid of being infected by her daughter.

"My mother was by my side but she was also scared, I had to go and meet one of the staff members of the facilities where they were taking care of me, to know if I could still do something with me. There was no problem, "he said.

The most painful thing for Adeola was that her most trusted friend abandoned her and went out to transmit her condition.

"Sadly, my best friend took it upon herself to transmit it, and every time people saw me anywhere, even in church, they pinched themselves and said," Are you sure she is positive? ", She stated. 19659005] "It was hell. None of the doctors believed that he was going to achieve it. "

After the diagnosis at the Randle Hospital, Adeola was referred to Mainland Hospital, that is, to the Infectious Diseases Hospital, and, after the examination, she was told that her case was

Doctors could not find any CD4 to place on an antiretroviral drug.

"I was admitted for six months. After the treatment, they sent me to a CD4 count test. Sadly for me, there was no CD4 count. One of the doctors told me: "Are you sure you are a human being?" I told him I did not know, but that everything was in the hands of God.

"They told me they could not start my ARV without a CD4 count, they did the CD4 count four times in a month, but there was nothing in my room, like 10 doctors will come in. At the end of the day, they gave me a I used it for two weeks and then they tried me again and I got a CD4 count. Now they said that with the CD4 count they could put me on drugs. "

Viral suppression

Thanks to technology, since, nowadays, adherence to antiretroviral drugs shows hope that, with consistency, many of the PVSS in treatment can become non-detectives.

Adeola's treatment was not without challenges. His words: "They told me that the drug they were going to begin with will seem to me as if a masquerade persecuted me and it is true, the first day I swallowed it, it was hell, later they changed the drug. One in the morning, one in the evening After six months when I went back to the hospital, my CD4 count was 57. The doctors were in awe and said: "Adeola, you're sticking to drugs." , and I told them, "I do not want to die." [19659005] Today, Adeola is not an HIV detective because her lab test now shows negative for HIV.

Conquest of HIV

] "When I was in the hospital, I was in charge of talking to others in the" One thing I also remember is that the doctors always told me that the time was that it is not HIV that kills people & # 39; , said the survivor.

"One thing I also remember is that HIV is not the end." It is thought that causes high blood pressure, even death. "

When asked how he could adhere to drugs, he said: "I have my alarm since I was prescribed one medication per day and can take it, only when you want to go to bed or do you want to relax, so my medication is at 11 p.m. Even when I'm sleeping, my phone will ring and I'll get up and swallow myself, for God be the glory, I'm living with HIV but, today, if I do a test, it will be negative.

"It should not exceed the time it is supposed to You must take your medications, not even a minute later. "

Adeola told how she took her boyfriend to the HIV test." My boyfriend, before starting to leave, did not think I was HIV positive, but I wanted him to know it. I was running a program with FHI and then as a mentor, mother. I called him to perform this test because if I told him I was HIV positive, I might not understand it. And one of the reasons I wanted to tell him and also to do the test was because people do not like to date HIV positive people. I took it to the HIV detection facility and we did the test together and we were both negative. When I told him, "Do you know I'm HIV positive?" He said it was a lie. "How can you be HIV positive and negative tests?" I explained to him that this was the work of adherence to drugs. "

" Why I decided to survive "

Asked why he decided to survive even in the face of many challenges, he said:" I decided to survive because there are other people who live with other diseases more deadly than HIV. With my own drugs I can live it. The secret is adherence. You must take your medications seriously and not joke with what should not be done. If I have malaria I will go to the hospital because my immune system is already complicated. It's not like people without HIV. In any case, they advised us in the hospital not to take anything. We were warned not to drink alcohol, herbs or make love without a condom. "

She advised:" People should go there to do the test; Being HIV positive is not a death sentence or the end of the world. You can still be what you want to be. Your dreams can be achieved if you take your medications. Malaria also kills if it is not handled well. I know of people who died of malaria. I tell people that cancer is worse than HIV. HIV, if you do not bleed blood, you will not get it. There are other diseases such as hepatitis B and Ebola, with the touch of the skin you contract them and in the blink of an eye you are dead. "

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