Persons who are living with HIV are being implored to avail themselves of powerful antiretroviral (ARV) medication to give themselves a chance at life.
The appeal comes from Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GIPA) Coordinator, National Family Planning Board (NFPB), Ainsley Reid. It comes ahead of Jamaica joining the rest of the international community in observing World AIDS Day on December 1.
Reid said that these drugs are effective even in cases where persons present late for treatment and have HIV-related complications. ARVs work by keeping the level of HIV in the body low, which lets the immune system recover and stay strong.
‘People should get tested, get on ARVs and live.’— Ainsley Reid
Reid stressed the need for persons to get tested for HIV so that they can know their status and access treatment.
“You cannot tell that someone has HIV by just looking. People should get tested, get on ARVs and live. HIV has no respect for age, class, colour, profession or gender,” he pointed out.
He said it is important for persons living with HIV to take the medication according to the doctor’s instructions and to maintain a healthy diet as part of the wellness effort.