While the country and the world at large are still grappling with HIV/AIDS, there is a growing misconception that the use of Anti Retroviral (ARVs) drugs stops transmission of the deadly virus.
We believe if left unchecked, this mistaken belief may jeopardise the success recorded so far in the combat against HIV/ AIDS. Although some scientific studies show ARVs reduce the chances of passing over the virus to others, the proof is not 100 per cent.
The drugs’ alleged ability for a sustained halt of AIDS progression is, therefore, still highly questionable. It should be understood that anti-retrovirals are not a cure. The drugs only work to slow down the progression of the disease so that an HIV positive person can live longer without the onset of AIDS and other opportunistic infections and diseases.
According to health experts, ARVs control the replication process of the virus, which attacks human’s immune system.
In other words the drugs are capable of reducing viral load in the bloodstream thus give the immune system a chance to recover… and as the viral load goes down, the number of CD4 cells increases as a result the viral load can become undetectable.
However, undetectable does not mean the virus has gone. According to medical experts that only means that the amount of virus in the blood of an HIV positive person is too small to be measured. However, chances for such a person to infect others are still big.