Part of the gathering during the workshop held in the Chapel Hall of Dimapur Civil Hospital on October 28. (Morung Photo)
News Morung Express
Dimapur | October 28
An Anti-Retroviral (ARV) Drug Treatment Knowledge Workshop was held in the Chapel Hall of Dimapur Civil Hospital on 28th October. Jointly organized by the Nagaland Network of PLHIV (NNP+), ARK Foundation, Positive Network Dimapur (PND+) and supported by the State of Nagaland AIDS Control Society (NSACS), the workshop brought together over 170 people living with HIV ( PLHIV).
Routine testing is important
Sensitizing the assembly on the test and treat policy and the steps to initiate ART, the physician at ART Plus Centre, Dimapur Civil Hospital, Dr Kikavi emphasized the importance of routine testing for living a healthy and healthy life. long.
Stating that blood tests and routine tests that have to be done every six months “are not for nothing”, he added that in case they miss it, one should at least get tested once a year.
The Indian government passed a bill in 2017 that regardless of the CD4 count, ARV treatment should start immediately for anyone living with HIV. For this, the medical adviser urged all people not to miss taking ART every day at the exact time, otherwise there are chances of the virus mutating.
Also, saying that “prevention is always better,” Dr. Kikavi persuaded them to stick to regular medication and be the first line of treatment. Failure these days is mostly due to a lack of buy-in, he added.
“ARV is a drug for life”
He also assured the assembly that confidentiality was maintained at all levels and encouraged them to come to the office at any time in case of doubts and questions. He clarified that ARV is a lifelong drug that controls the CD4 count, but cannot completely cure it, and therefore one should not think that he is free from the virus when the person seems to be well. health.
However, he also said that this should not be seen as a ‘death sentence’, but that HIV is a chronic disease like all other diseases such as hypertension or high/low sugar, requiring take medication regularly. .
Earlier during the workshop, District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit DPO Dimapur, Mecievinuo Zhotso explained the importance of ART, 95-95-95, and undetectable = untransmittable HIV, when a person starts taking ART regularly. She said that the antiretroviral drug does not kill the HIV virus, but stops it from multiplying and destroys the infection. Studies show that people with HIV live much longer on ARVs than those without. Early detection and immediate initiation of ARVs will lead to a good life, Zhotso added.
“End the stigma”
Stating that this is one of the highest participation rates in such programs, NNP+ Lanu President expressed his joy to see many people today.
Lanu, who has been living with HIV for 25 years, encouraged the congregation to listen carefully and answer all their questions, because this program is organized so that everyone present here can answer their doubts and questions without fear. their questions and eliminate the stigma associated with them.
He then urged them to do their part in imparting knowledge to the community and their loved ones.
President of the ARK Foundation, Ketho Angami also spoke on the 2017 HIV law and addressed the issue of co-infections. Discussions open to the public also took place during the programme. Earlier, Reverend Yhunlo Thong, Chaplain of Dimapur Civil Hospital prayed for the gathering and shared words of encouragement from the Bible.
It can be mentioned that the workshop which is supported by NSACS started last year, in clusters in three districts – Dimapur, Mokokchung and Tuensang where all neighboring districts participated. This year, the workshop will continue in Dimapur, Tuensang and Longleng districts due to the high prevalence of HIV in these three districts.
Lanu also informed that there will be an outreach program which will be a conglomeration of all faiths, civil societies and youth leaders to be held soon in Dimapur.