Thursday, 13 September 2012

HIV Epidemic In Nigeria…A Good Example Of Nonchalant Attitude Towards A Serious Problem!


I am appalled by the fact that despite the continued rising threat of HIV and AIDS in Nigeria, the effort of the Nigeria government to match the virus is nothing to write home about. About 3.6 million Nigerians are living with the virus today and that is one out of every 11 people living with the virus in the world. It seems that the Nigerian government is not perturbed by these figures. The government seems very much interested in politicking and looting the commonwealth than taking a decisive, strong and confrontational approach to deal with the virus. This is a very bad way to tackle a pressing problem!

The implication of this nonchalant attitude towards the virus is that a lot of people especially the young people who make up the bulk of our population and work force and of course the future of our country are daily succumbing to the virus, not even in tens but in hundreds. I am scared that there will be a time in future when there will be no more young people to take over the mantle of leadership of this country but God forbid we will ever get there. This is scary indeed and that should scare a hell out of every living creature and right thinking person in Nigeria. The picture I am looking at now is very bleak. It is nothing to write home about and will become hydra headed and monstrous if this nonchalant attitude of the Nigeria government continues.

The implication of the poor quality of this picture is that Nigeria is today bearing one of the highest burdens of the virus in the world and that burden is still appreciating instead of depreciating and that is exactly what makes the whole story so sad. This is not good news and should be a source of concern to all of us and I mean it. The saddest part is that the Anti-Retroviral Therapy that is meant to manage the virus is nowhere within the reach of the millions living with the virus. Even the little in circulation is being hindered by injustice in the circulation and distribution system. This has led to the exclusion of those who are in genuine and urgent need of the drugs even as those who do not need them smuggle them and make thousands in profit in the black market. This is unfortunate, completely unacceptable and somebody must bury his or her head in shame!

It is scandalous and even sadder to know that patients still die of HIV today in 2012 in Nigeria. Elsewhere HIV could be perfectly managed to allow those living with it to live almost their full lifespan. In fact, in the United Kingdom today, you could just go online, request a free kit that will be sent to you, take a swab of your mouth and send it back in an included prepaid envelope and your HIV status result will be with you in less than a week! Why should this case be different in Nigeria? I have seen people living with HIV for over 25 years here in the United Kingdom and they are very healthy and doing their everyday normal job and even having babies born free of the virus. Would it be a sin for this bright picture to be exhibited in Nigeria?

And if you think that what I have been saying is very shocking, wait until you here the next thing I am going to say and that is the fact that 1 in 3 of those living with the virus in Nigeria today do not even know they have the virus. How would they know if they do not go for regular tests? Due to the ignorance of their serostatus, they will go on to infect others or get married and infect their wives who will in turn pass it on to their kids. This is sad and people should be encouraged to go out there and have the test even as the Nigeria government must make itself accountable to these people and pretend at least to be a responsible government for once. Those who are positive should take good care of themselves and ensure that they do not pass on the virus to others while those who are negative should strive to continue being negative and always having protected sex is the key!

Above all, everyone should play a part by ensuring that condoms are always used during sex and that should be the right condom size too.

2 comments:

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