How will you know your status if you don’t get tested? Though we commemorate the 30th anniversary of World Aids Day, this virus still remains our worst adversary. We need to get tested.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of World Aids Day and the theme is, “Know Your Status”. Knowing your status helps one to make well-informed decisions.
Someone who is ignorant and reluctant to go for tests is like a reckless driver who disregards road safety rules which serve to protect their own life.
If you know your HIV status, you’ll begin to take treatment and lead a healthy lifestyle. On this year’s World Aids Day, we should personalize the risk of HIV infection. Let’s avoid engaging in unsafe s.e.x. Condomise or abstain from s.e.x.
If you test positive, you shouldn’t lose hope and think it’s the end of the world. You’d rather start taking treatment and eating healthy foodstuff to prolong your life. Leading a reckless and unhealthy lifestyle like smoking and boozing can worsen your condition.Being HIV-positive doesn’t mean you’re useless.
You can still lead a prolonged, productive life and contribute to society. HIV is manageable; however, about half of the seven million people in South Africa living with the virus are not on treatment!
Not taking treatment even though you’re positive is like daring to go into a lion’s den without a weapon for self-defence. I urge people living in rural areas to get tested and know their status. Knowing your status lifts a load off your shoulders. It frees you from possible doubt.
I encourage young people as well to stop engaging in unprotected sex this festive season. Married or unmarried couples should avoid engaging in extramarital s.e.x to avoid the spread of HIV.
HIV is a burden on the shoulder of the World and as the nations, we should take a pledge in reducing the infection rate. World Aids Day is a very important reminder that a lot still needs to be done all over the world to educate people about this condition.
We should raise public awareness and stop the stigmatisation of people living with HIV. It doesn’t respect our status. It affects the rich and the poor, parents and children.
Hellen Keller once said: “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much. “Though this virus stands tall like a giant Goliath, our little efforts combined together can help us to be victorious over it.”
) Amos Tebeila