Test for Life

24 02 2015


They said I must be tested.

I just had a little cold!

So why must I be pestered,

And why is everyone so bold?

I continued getting ill,

My job was now in danger.

I tried to work & function still.

To my friends I became a stranger.

At the clinic I heard about a test;

About life-style and treatment.

I learned about counseling & the rest,

And how to make an appointment.

The counselor was very kind,

All my questions were answered.

The informed consent was signed.

At last my secret fears were heard.

My CD4s are low & the viral load is high.

The counselor held my hand.

“Tell me, am I soon going to die,

Will they bury me in the sand?”

“No, no, no!” at the clinic they say,

“There is so much we can do.

First change your life in work & play,

We’ll support & stand by you!”

My life has changed & I am better,

From medication I’ll never be free.

I follow a diet plan to the letter,

Each three months the doctor I see.

Please join me to spread the news:

There is life, even after infection.

Many may come with different views,

But nothing ever beats prevention.

©Teresa Denton 2005



How I View

21 09 2012

Whether the effect is severe or mild, 

Remember that this is just a child, 

Who may have lost a father or mother; 

Friend; a cousin; a sister or brother.

Try to help in practical way

Do what you can to lighten the days.

Bring some food, blankets or clothes.

It need not be heaps of loaves.

Offer the care giver a break in the day,

She may be tired & too shy to say.

If medicines or checks have to be done,

Invent some games to make it fun.

And when it comes near to the end

Anyone so sick will need a friend.

Give a hug, a kiss and some love,

You’ll get strength and help from above.

These little people did not do wrong

They don’t deserve to suffer so long.

If we could all lend a willing hand,

We’ll bring light to our suffering land.

©Teresa Denton


Antiretroviral Medication

3 08 2012

How do antiretroviral medications counteract HIV?

HIV uses enzymes to enter the CD4 cell and to prepare the cell and its contents for viral multiplication. Once the virus has multiplied, more enzymes are needed to mature the new viruses in preparation for release into the blood stream.

Antiretroviral medications suppress the replication of HIV by blocking the enzymes needed at the various stages of the viral life cycle.  

The decision to start antiretroviral treatment (ART) is usually guided by the CD4 cell count test (which indicates the strength of the immune system) and the viral load test (which indicates the amount of HIV in the body). Blood is regularly sent to a laboratory to ascertain these levels and to help to decide on the commencement of the treatment.

The health professional also assesses the general clinical condition of the patient to decide on the right time to commense ART.

ART prevents the virus from multiplying, thereby decreasing the amount of the virus in the blood. This allows the CD4 cells to increase and the body’s immune system to recover and protect itself.

Antiretroviral medications do not cure HIV, they just prevent the virus from multiplying.

If treatment is interrupted the virus will resume with its multiplication. Interruption in treatment may also cause the virus to build up a resistance to the medication.

ART must be taken for life, and, if correctly taken, regularly monitored, will prolong and improve the quality of life of the person with HIV

©Teresa Denton


Women and HIV

27 07 2012

Physical, socio-economic, and cultural factors make women and girls more vulnerable to HIV.

In some cultures the woman in the relationship is still not empowered to demand the use of condoms and protective mechanisms.

There are cultural groups in which there is a strong patriarchal belief that all sexually- transmitted- infections are caused by women.

HIV by deduction therefore falls into this category. Women and girls must have contracted these infections somewhere and men and boys are equally responsible for the spread of these conditions.

The anatomy of the woman explains the physical vulnerability.

The vagina has a large area of exposed and sensitive skin which can get damaged or cut during sex. Semen also stays longer in the vagina after sex, increasing the risk of transmission.

By contrast the penis has a smaller surface area, which is in contact with vaginal fluids for a shorter time. This means that man’s risk of contracting HIV is lower than that of women.

Some women may not be aware that they have a sexually-transmitted-infection as the symptoms may not be obvious. The presence of an untreated infection increases their vulnerability to HIV infection.

We need to empower and protect our women as they are the mothers of the future generation!

©Teresa Denton


The Attack of HIV

20 07 2012

How does HIV enter the human body?

We have discussed ways in which the virus does not enter your body. What are the ways in which the virus does cross over from one person to another?

  • From unprotected sexual intercourse. Unprotected sex means sex without a condom.
  • From mother to child. A pregnant mother who is HIV positive can pass the virus on to her unborn child. This can happen in the womb, but the greatest risk of cross infection is during childbirth or through breastfeeding.
  • Direct contact with the blood of a HIV positive person. An open wound comes into contact with the blood of an HIV positive person. Cross infection could also occur during fights with unknown assailants, when both parties are injured.
  • Sharing needles or syringes with an HIV positive person. Drug users are often not fussy about sharing syringes and needles. Health professionals are vulnerable when they get needle stick injuries during the course of their work.
  • Sharing razor blades or toothbrushes. This is especially possible if the uninfected person has sores or bleeding gums.

All these possible means of cross infection can be minimized if the HIV positive person is on antiretroviral medication and is regularly monitored. The health professional must at all times be aware of the viral load. The lower the viral load, the lower the incidence of cross infection. HIV negative partner or caregiver must at all times be careful and alert to possible means of transmission.

If at any time you think you may have been exposed to HIV positive blood or bodily fluids  get medical advice as soon as possible.

It is always better to be safe than sorry.

©Teresa Denton


Image Source: www.blog.mdcommunications.com

Friends with Aids

10 07 2012

A friend with Aids is still a friend.

‘A friend will joyfully sing with you when you are on the mountain top, and silently walk beside you through the valley.’ (History & Heraldry 2009)

We need not be scared of our friend, because we cannot get HIV through social contact.

A person cannot get the virus through shaking hands, hugging and kissing.

Not all body fluids will transmit the virus. There is almost no chance that you can get HIV through urine, saliva and sweat. Although it is present in very small amounts in these fluids there has to be a lesion on your skin or in your mouth to allow the virus to enter your body.

Hold onto a friendship. A true friend does not walk out of the valuable relationship just because a chronic condition has been diagnosed.

If your friend is taking antiretroviral medication, be there when the side effects of the medication make him/her feel bad. Be there when they need to talk and be available when help is needed.

Encouragement love and acceptance is what is needed.

‘A friend is someone who knows you as you are, understands where you’ve been, and accepts who you’ve become.’ (History & Heraldry 2009)

©Teresa Denton


Image Source: www.juganue.deviantart.com 

The Abyss

30 06 2012

Darkness, despair, fear and tears,

Trapped in an abyss of black.

There is no way out of here!

Darkness, despair, fear and tears.

Does no one hear my desperate cries? 

Will I never get out of here? 

Darkness , despair, fear and tears,

I look to the heavens for a glimmer of light.

There must be a way out of here!
Effort, endurance, hope and help,

With courage, and determination

I inch my way out of here.

When we join hands to fight the fight.

And hear the desperate cries for help

We’ll  throw that rope to get you out of there.

Effort, endurance, hope and help.

The Virus is the beginning of life,

When you get out of here. 

Effort, Endurance, Hope and Help

We care because we share to ……

Get all others out of there!

©Teresa Denton 2011


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