Asserting that there may not be a cure, but medication allows people to live, work and be productive although diagnosed with HIV, Senior Medical Officer, Infectious Diseases Unit – Dr. Gail Gajadhar has explained a free rapid test can determine someone’s status.
“Saint Lucia, please do not let HIV overwhelm you. It is your life, and you are in control,” Gajadhar asserted.
“In just 15 minutes, a free rapid test can let you know whether you may or may not have HIV. Like diabetes, high blood pressure, lupus, sickle anemia, among others, HIV is a chronic disease and you need to take your medication daily to be well and healthy. HIV medication is free and available to all persons diagnosed,” Gajadhar observed.
The senior Saint Lucia medical official’s comments came in a message commemorating the 33rd World Aids Day on December 1, 2021.
The theme for the observance is: End Inequalities, End AIDS, End Pandemics.
Gajadhar disclosed that 36 years ago, Saint Lucia documented its first case of HIV/AIDS.
And she observed that it comes as a shock to people diagnosed with the disease who take time to come to terms with the diagnosis.
However, Gajadhar explained that this was not 1985 when no medication was available to treat the illness.
“The power is in your hands. It is your choice to test to know your status. It is your choice to take your medication to live a long, healthy life,” she asserted.
In addition, the senior medical official explained that it’s someone’s choice whether they are a strong, healthy, and productive member of society.
“Your choices are very important if we are to end AIDS,” she declared.