Sister Lidia Nkuta-Radebe, manager of the Medical Department at Lenmed Private Hospital, calms one of her patients.
As we approach World AIDS Day on Saturday, December 1, the United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS) published its statistics on HIV / AIDS in 2018.
South Africa has the biggest and loudest HIV epidemic in the world, and the number of people in South Africa living with HIV / AIDS is worrying. This is what statistics showed:
• 7.2 million people live with HIV
• 18.8% HIV prevalence among adults (15–49 years old)
• 270 000 new HIV infections
• 110,000 AIDS-related deaths
• 61% of adult patients receiving antiretroviral therapy *
• 58% of children living with HIV infection, antiretroviral drugs *
* All adults / children living with HIV
Despite these alarming statistics, sister Lidia Nkuta-Radebe, manager of the Medical Unit at Lenmed Private Hospital, stated that contracting HIV / AIDS is not a death sentence.
Lydia said that those who live with this disease can still lead a normal life and overcome stigma.
“When a person is diagnosed, he or she should receive counseling in order to prepare them mentally for the road ahead,” she said.
She added that patients will go through various stages before they accept their HIV / AIDS status.
“But in the end, a person must accept and live with him, and as soon as you do this, you will understand that this is not a death sentence; you will lead a normal life. “Do not hide it, because it corresponds to stigma that will eventually lead you to death,” Lydia advised.
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