Rwanda: Long-lasting life is possible when HIV/AIDS patients respect prescribed remedies

By Elias Hakizimana

When Marie Chantal Mukanyirigira realised she was infected with HIV/AIDS in 2000, she had no successful hope of surviving with such a fatal infection.

She became unfortunate when she caught the deadly virus while she was helping pregnant mothers to deliver at a hospital.

The incident occurred when she had two births.

Now, 18 years have elapsed since then, and the mother of three, who is the representative of women in HIV prevention programmes in Musanze District, told The Inspirer that her husband is now still healthy without HIV due to good advises from nurses and RRP+ organisation.

“We use a condom and my husband is still HIV negative. When we need to give birth to another child, nurses help us to do it in a safe manner,” she said.

  •  Marie Chantal Mukanyirigira.

“In 2000, after knowing that I have HIV/AIDS, I respected prescribed remedies in taking Anti-retroviral- (ARV) drugs and gave birth to a healthy child in 2006,” she revealed.

She thanks RRP+ for helping people who have HIV (PLHIV) to cope with life where they meet in Associations and discuss their stories and regain life expectancy.

Despite the efforts injected in mobilizing people to fight HIV, this mother said that the number of infected children still on the rise due to the fact that parents especially mothers, still hide their status.

” We advise such parents that AIDS kills and to be careful. Youth who get tested are still few. Those who know their status are aged between 35-40 years. We are doing advocacy to prevent new infection from the village up to the sector level,” said Mukanyirigira.

It was revealed that someone who has HIV and respecting ARV dosage consumption; with enough body resistance has same  life expectancy with the one who is HIV negative.

Speaking during the 15 year Anniverssary of RRP+ on December 18, 2018, Dr.Sabin Nzanzimana, said that a person aged between 60-64 years old without HIV/AIDS has 15 to 18 extra years of life while the one who has HIV can survive 14.2 extra years.

Dr.Sabin Nzanzimana.

“This is because the one who reveals he/she is infected starts to cater for his/her life while the other one who us healthy can even lure himself/herself into dangerous issues to the life,” Nzanzimana said.

The Ministry of Health and development partners always mobilize people to get tested for free, to use a condom and take ARV when infected.

HIV/AIDS related deaths decreased to 82 percent due to respecting ARV drugs dosage consumption.

Among 93 percent of people who take ARV very well, 91% if them decreased the virus in their blood.

Sage Semafara, Executive Secretary of RRP+ said that members of this organisation have achieved a lot since 15 years ago of the organisation’s existence.

RRP+ has over 12,000 members grouped in over 912 associations countrywide.

15 Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) are also making part of the RRP+.

Globally, over 37 million of people have HIV/AIDS. Among them, 4.5 million are aged over 50 years and 50 percent of them live in Sub-saharan Africa.

Only in Rwanda, people living with HIV/AIDS are between 250,000 and 300,000.

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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,(www.rwandainspirer.com) is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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