A general physician, Dr Peter Atangwho, on Thursday advised Nigerians not to discriminate against People Living With HIV/AIDs (PLWHA), describing the disease as chronic but not a death sentence. Atangwho who is also the Chief Executive Officer of TeleMed Online Clinic, told Newsmen that PLWHA could live long and have normal life, with antiretroviral medications.
According to him, HIV/AIDS is a chronic disease just like high blood sugar, high blood pressure, sickle cell disease, viral hepatitis and others. He regretted that some Nigerians had remained ignorant in spite of much awareness on the management of the disease. “I wrote something on social media recently, that people should stop discriminating against PLWHA. The comments I got showed clearly that some people have chosen to remain ignorant.
“Who told you that PLWHA can not get married or raise a healthy family? Who told you that you are superior to PLWHA on antiretroviral medicines? “If you take your antiretroviral medication as prescribed, you are likely to keep the viral load suppressed and live a long, normal life. “Gone are the days when if someone was diagnosed with HIV, others would start telling them stylishly to write his will. The disease can be managed, ” he said.
Atangwho urged Nigerians to encourage and support PLWHA with love and respect like other human beings. He also urged PLWHA not to be deterred but go about their normal activities and take their medications. “The cost of ignorance is misery. For PLWHA, I’m sorry you still face this barbaric discrimination in your workplaces and daily lives.” Do not be deterred,” he urged.