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Early Testing Boosts AIDS Treatment 

By Nelen Tambe — The medical head of the Lobo Medical Centre, Dr. Jean Ludovic Ambassa, says when HIV/AIDs test is done earlier, there is more possible success in the treatment than when it is late.

Dr. Ambassa encourages everyone whether pregnant, the old and the young to do their screening now in order to avoid future and untimely deaths. The medic was speaking during the celebration of the 26th edition of World AIDS Day organised by Plan Cameroon on December 1 in Lobo, Lekie Division, Centre Region. “AIDS does not kill but ignorance does.

That is the refusal to do the screening; accept your status and start your treatment and later on stop it kills and not the disease”, he reiterated. Meanwhile, Martin Nkoa, a person leaving with HIV since 1997, says all illnesses can kill and not only AIDS. He made the statement while giving his testimony as a victim with the disease. The 59-year-old man revealed that he was tested HIV positive in 1997. During this period, he said he was abandoned by his family, friends and everybody around him.

To him, it was the worst part of his life to be rejected by the society. “But as time went on, those who thought I would die soon started accepting me. Thanks too, to enormous sensitisation campaigns that have been going on I had all my friends, family and the society back,” Nkoa said. He admitted that since he was tested positive, he has been on treatment.

He, however, advised those like him and others who are not victims to know that other diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, like AIDS, kill and so none should be rejected but instead be accepted and protected by the society. Crescence Ngolo, another person living with AIDS, recounted that she decided to do the screening after her husband died in 2002. “While looking through my husband’s medical file, I saw that he was HIV positive. This prompted me to do the AIDS test,” Ngolo narrated.

She said she did the screening in 2006 and she was tested positive. Said Ngolo, “Even though from the beginning I was scared and could not accept it, I finally admitted my status as time went on. I told everyone around me that I am HIV positive.” She said organisations like Plan Cameroon and AFASO (Association des Femmes Active et Solidaires), have been helping her in following up her treatment.

First published in The Post edition no 01485

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