HIV Patients Can Live Normally, Experts Say

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Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV) can now live normally as long as they take their medicines regularly, experts said as they compared the Human ImmunoDeficiency Virus (HIV) into other chronic diseases.“I am comparing HIV to diabetes or hypertension,” Dr. Rossana Ditaqio, head of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Research Group of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) said in a recent forum organized by the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP).Ditaqio said she inspires her patients by telling them the condition of American Basketball player Magic Johnson who is living with HIV but is able to live normal life.“HIV infection is almost like diabetes or hypertension in terms of treatment and outcome because patients are living normal lives if they take their medication and maintenance drugs and observe healthy lifestyle, like in diabetes. You just have to control it to prevent the complications,” she added.HIV is transmitted through sex, from an infected mother to an unborn child, injected drugs use, infected blood transmission, infected needle prick injury.PLHIV can avail of free Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs therapy in hospitals accredited by the Department of Health (DoH).Dr. Gerard Belimac, DoH program manager for HIV said 731 patients are currently under ARV treatment of the DoH. This is out of the total 4,138 HIV and AIDS patients in the DOH registry since 1984. “The others either do not need ARV or they have not availed of it,” Belimac said.ARV drugs merely suppress the multiplication of the virus and it does not cure the patient from the disease. The reduction of the virus reduces the risk of the patient contracting infections. …