Nigeria: for being HIV positive, they made me sleep for two years in open – Adeola, survivor



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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 the UN 90 -90-90 goal to end the HIV epidemic by 2020, 90 percent of people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90 percent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90 percent of all people who receive hormone therapy with retroviral 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 in 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 badociates 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 even in Nigeria are also being negative. One of them, Ms. Adeola Ganiat Ajetunmobi, 23, is a living testimony of adherence to treatment. Although her experience at the beginning was not acceptable, her strong will to survive made her overcome many challenges even from her immediate family.

Adeola was made to deal with discrimination, myth, 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, humiliation did not improve when I traveled on 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, naturally I am a strong person, nothing moves me." According to the survivor, who is now a Youth Adherence Counselor for HIV, although her mother was by her 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 a time when I was thinking it was spiritual since I come from a wealthy home. when it was finally confirmed two years later at the Randle Hospital in Lagos, when I got there, they did not take care of me, I sat down, shortly after I pbaded out, and from that moment on, I did not know what really happened. "

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

Stigma and discrimination

Adeola remembered how she was forced to sleep in the pbadage of her The father's house for two years, it rained or not, due to his AIDS status.

"One thing about me is that whatever situation I find myself in, I am always strong." Before you knew it, the news was everywhere. She is HIV positive. Stigma and discrimination took over everything around me, even my family and my relatives stayed away from me to the point that they refused to sit where I was sitting. It was so bad. Everything I did then was a problem. None of them 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 my side, but she was also afraid. I had to go and me and one of the staff members of the facility where they were taking care of me, to see if I could still do something with me. People advised him that 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 care of transmit it. Every time people saw me somewhere, even in the church, they would pinch themselves and say, "Are you sure she is positive?" She affirmed.

"It was hell, none of the doctors believed I was going to make it."

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

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? "I told him I did not know, but that everything was in the hands of God.

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

Viral Suppression

Thanks to technology because, nowadays, adherence to antiretroviral drugs shows hope that, with consistency, many of the PLHIV in treatment may become non-detective.

Treatment Adeola was not without challenges, her words: "They told me that the drug they were going to start with would seem to me like a masked ball chasing me and it was true. The first day I swallowed it, it was hell; Then they changed the drug. I have used drugs, one in the morning, one at night. After six months, when I went back to the hospital, my CD4 count was 57. The doctors were amazed and said: "Adeola, you're sticking to drugs." , and I told them, "I do not want to die."

Today, Adeola is not an HIV detective, since her lab test now shows a negative result for HIV.

Conquest of HIV

"When I was in the hospital, I took the responsibility to talk to others in the rooms that they should not take it too personally because HIV is not the end," the survivor said.

"One thing I also remember is that the doctors always told me that moment was that" it is not HIV that kills people, it is thought that causes high blood pressure, even death. "

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

"You should not exceed the time you are supposed to take your medications, not even a minute later."

Adeola narrated how she took her boyfriend to take an HIV test. "My boyfriend, before I started dating, I did not think he was HIV positive, but I wanted him to know, I had a program with FHI and then as a mentor – mother, I called him to do this test because if I told him he was HIV Positive, you may not understand, and one of the reasons I wanted to tell you and also to do the test was because people do not like dating HIV positive people, I took it to the HIV screening center 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 you're giving negative? I explained that this was the work of adherence to drugs. "

"Why I decided to survive"

When 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. You must take your medications seriously and not joke with what you should not do If I have malaria I will go to the hospital because my immune system is already complicated It is not like people without HIV. We were advised at the hospital not to take anything, we were warned not to drink alcohol, herbs or love without a condom. "

She advised:" People should go there to be tested, being HIV positive is not a sentence of Death or the end of the world You can still be what you want to be Your dreams can be achieved if you take your medicines Malaria also kills if you do not handle well I know people who died of malaria I tell people that The 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 contact with the skin you contract them and in the blink of an eye you are dead. "

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