‘Failure to take medication responsible for HIV/AIDS deaths in Nigeria’
The Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr Gambo Aliyu, has said failure to take medication is responsible for the number of deaths the country is recording now from HIV/AIDS.
He noted that HIV/AIDS is one of the longest epidemic in human history that has defiled herbal scientific solution to wipe it away once and for all but, the scientific world has found solution around HIV through the development of antiretroviral drugs which work by stopping the virus replicating in the body.
Speaking at the annual media dinner with health journalists yesterday in Abuja, Aliyu however explained that by failing to take medication or taking it haphazardly, people living with HIV virus develop resistant virus which no longer respond to Antiretroviral drugs.
He said, “Because they don’t take the medication or they take it haphazardly the virus has proven resistant, it doesn’t sense the drug and that is what is happening. It is ravaging them, its showing in their face and it’s killing them and they are transmitting the resistant virus to other people. Those who get the virus fresh and a resistant virus, our medication don’t work, it is these individuals that will also show manifestations of HIV.”
The NACA boss observed that Nigeria is at the verge of controlling HIV but there is a little barrier and that barrier is the inequalities in access to our services.
According to him, “Some people don’t have access to HIV services or are denied the access because of our attitude towards them, adding that it is totally unfair to stigmatize or marginalize people living with HIV/AIDS because we have come to the age where they can keep the virus in them without giving anyone.
They can also keep the virus in them without the virus showing on their face and certainly without the virus taking them to the grave as long as they take medication and they are faithful with the medication so there should be no room for stigmatization and marginalization, we have to change our attitude towards people living with HIV/AIDS. The last time I asked someone when last did you hear one of your neighbors die of HIV he said I can’t remember; when last did you see someone and they tell you the person has AIDS? He said he can’t remember. I said do you know the secret behind that? The secret behind it is that while we do not have cure for HIV yet, we succeeded in keeping HIV within people that have it.”