Get tested, says nurse

2016-12-14 06:02
Professional nurse Mavis Minnie (in front in the nursing uniform) led the candlelight and prayer session against HIV and AIDS during the service. Photos: Boipelo Mere

Professional nurse Mavis Minnie (in front in the nursing uniform) led the candlelight and prayer session against HIV and AIDS during the service. Photos: Boipelo Mere

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The negative attitude of the community of Ritchie was put in the spotlight by professional nurse Mavis Minnie on Saturday 3 December.

Minnie urged them to go for HIV testing to save themselves, because it is better to be safe than sorry.

She spoke during the prayer service for peace and safety during the festive season.

During the prayer session, she encouraged people to join the rest of the world in the fight against the scourge of HIV and AIDS.

She spoke strongly on the issue of stigma.

Many people continue to plead ignorance due to fears of judgement against them.

According to her, it is still difficult for an HIV and AIDS patient to expect overwhelming support from the community that they live in, especially in such a small community as Ritchie.

“We are expected to be a community that knows that HIV/AIDS is not supposed to kill any person anymore.

“No child is still supposed to be born with the HIV virus in this lifetime.

“Today’s babies are born HIV negative, even though their parents might be positive,” said Minnie.

Her speech was mostly directed to the issues that need serious attention, as she also mentioned that she will not dwell on normal issues, like how HIV and AIDS is spread.

According to her knowledge, it is better to go for testing and know your status as long as you are strong and healthy in order to start treatment at an early stage.

“Everyone who tests positive is now entitled to get free HIV treatment, no matter their amount of viral load or CD 4 count.

“It is no longer like previously where you were asked how much your CD 4 count or your viral load was before you could start treatment.

“Nowadays, you can have more than 1 000 viral load and still start treatment.

“Treatment used to be started on a patient with only 200 count.

“Treatment is needed to be started immediately.

“I urge the adults and the youth to go for their HIV tests.”

She added by condemning the behaviour of those who continue to complain about clinic queues of patients who take too long in consultation rooms.

“We are all human beings and all need equal quality service.

“Let us give each other a chance to live and be treated with respect.

“It is through attitudes like these that we find that some patients skip their treatment and end up in trouble.”

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