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The Facts about Antiretroviral Therapy Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Ipinnaiye Opeyemi Isaiah, Nigeria Aug 26, 2005
Health   Opinions


The Facts about Antiretroviral Therapy THE FACTS ABOUT ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPHY

It is disheartening to find out that people living with HIV/AIDS are not adequately informed about antiretroviral therapy. Rather than the drugs suppressing the virus other complications could arise as a result of lack of adequate information about antiretroviral therapy.

Antiretroviral drugs are drugs that reduce the multiplication of the HIV/AIDS virus that attacks the immune system. Antiretroviral helps the immune system become strong enough that it is able to keep out opportunistic infections and improves one’s chances of feeling better. It is important to know that if a person is diagnosed with HIV/AIDS the use of antiretroviral drugs should not start immediately. The individual must undergo CD4 Test, viral test and the sensitivity test.

The CD4 test is used to determine the strength and level of your body’s immune system. If the level of the person’s immune system (CD4) is low, in the range of 350 and below, the person should start the use of antiretroviral drugs. The World Health Organization’s recommendation is that if the CD4 level is below 200 one should initiate the antiretroviral, but within Nigeria, a rate of 350 is highly recommended by the World Health Organization due to environmental factors such as nutritional concerns and the nature of our environment.

After a CD4 Test is carried out, if Antiretroviral is recommended by the doctor, it is important that the person does the sensitivity test in order to know the kind of drugs that will be compatible with the body of the person as there are serious side effects. When the test is done, the person can start using antiretroviral drugs. There are many types such as Lamivudine, Stavudine, Zidovudine, Effavirenz and Nevirapine. Side effects include headache, nausea, stomach discomfort, loss of appetite and the list goes on, that is why emphasis should be put on practicing the sensitivity test in order to know the best form of Antiretroviral to use. Pregnant women using antiretroviral drugs should not be concerned but it is very important for your doctor to know that you are pregnant as some types of the drug are safer during pregnancy period than others. Missing a dosage could affect the person so make sure that you tell the doctor when you miss a dosage and if you must stop taking antiretroviral talk to your doctor.

People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) should remember that you can improve your chances of feeling better and living longer with HIV/AIDS by visiting your doctor regularly and always remember to use the Antiretroviral drugs regularly; this will slow down the HIV from multiplying and attacking your system.




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Ipinnaiye Opeyemi Isaiah

My name is Opeyemi Ipinnaiye. I am a 24 year old graduate of Business Administration from the Universitry of Ado-ekiti in 2002. Presently I work as the program support officer of Voluntary Service Overseas
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