Really long time since I wrote and school has been hectic.
But, I’m back now. 😄😄
Now, today is World AIDS Day,
Hands up for #HIVPrevention
That’s the theme that UNAIDS has this year.
Well, I’m currently taking PEP, Post exposure prophylaxis.
Let me break it down, this is basically medication you get after you have received a reasonable exposure from an individual with HIV or one whose status is not known.
I got exposed in the paediatric wards as I handled a child who is a known HIV patient as I was fixing a cannula.
Been taking the medication for three weeks now! It’s no joke I tell you. It’s no joke. The side effects are… horrid.
I’ve gotten a new respect for my patient’s on the Antiretroviral treatment.
As a medical student, I’d casually ask my patients:
Do you know your status and if so are you on medication and for how long.
It’s more than that. They are strong.
The dedication it takes to take your medication, every single day. Every single day. Without fail. That is determination that I admire. You are the real MVPS.
Now, let’s talk about HIV and prevention
In Kenya, we have the joint fourth largest HIV epidemic in the world (alongside Mozambique and Uganda), in terms of number of people living with HIV. It was at 1.6 million in 2013.
Most new adult infections are actually among young women between 15-24 years of age at about 21%.
A large percentage of new infections sadly are also happening in the context of committed heterosexual relationships and marriages due to unfaithfulness and the like. 44.1%.
There was a huge uproar sometime back when in order to try reduce the new infections within relationships, there were adverts that had the tagline, Weka condom mpangoni. Translated from Swahili as, use a condom with your partner outside your relationship.
It wasn’t taken well, but truth is, it’s happening and we need to prevent new infections.
Young women between the ages of 15-24 years of age.
There is an earlier age of sexual onset with most of the young ladies not having correct information on HIV and sex.
Many of this ladies get married early or are taken on by ‘sponsors’ and men, in our society sadly are generally the ones who speak and have the power on matters relating to sex, with the lady not having a say on any use of protection or not.
My word, wrap it up. Get him to wrap it up.
Know your status.