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Hiv positive people abandon Ar Vs due to hunger

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Food insecurity is emerging today as a major barrier to adherence to ARV among people living with HIV and as a cause of interruption of ARV treatment.

health COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection) HIV

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), when people living with HIV start using antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), one of the guidelines they will give is to take the drug for the rest of their lives. .

This is because if people do not stick to ARV, they are at increased risk of recurrent disease from opportunistic infections and the development of drug-resistant HIV infections.

ARVs also need to be taken with food, said Dr Abdallah Nkoyooyo, Program Manager at the Institute of Infectious Diseases (IDI) at Makerele University. He says that TB medications and ARVs are very strong when taken without food, drowsy, debilitating and weakening-you feel like a vomiting.

    r bdallah koyooyo nvisious isease nstitute hoto by lvis asudde Program Manager Dr. Abdallah Nkoyooyo, Program Manager, Institute of Infectious Diseases (IDI). (Photo by Elvis Basudde)


Unfortunately, food insecurity today emerges as a major barrier to ARV adherence among people living with HIV and as a cause of interruption of ARV treatment or postponement of ARV initiation. This is due to a domestic blockade to prevent widespread infection and death of COVID-19.

Food insecurity is defined as “limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food, or inability to obtain personally acceptable food in a socially acceptable manner. Because of lockdowns, many people living with HIV have been driven out of ARVs due to inadequate food, and HIV activists have quickly become drug-resistant and dying unless more food is available. I fear that I will deal with it.

HIV-Regional coordinator of the international women’s community living with East Africa (ICWEA), Lillian Mworeco, said that HIV-positive people take ARV drugs based on their understanding of food (available) and follow the principles taught to them. There is. However, without food, many people stopped taking ARVs, which would endanger their lives.

According to Mworeco, COVID-19 is particularly damaging to women, young girls and young people.

“They don’t have a stable income, and they don’t have a permanent job to be paid monthly. They earn daily and feed their families whatever they earn. They were locked up at home, so I have no money to buy, “she says.

On Wednesday, Mworeko was called by more than 45 people living with HIV in the district where ICWEA operates mainly in Wakiso and Kampala and asked if they were warned when food would be available. She called LC and asked when she was getting food because everyone was waiting. The situation is as bad as that, she says.

She says food anxiety doesn’t just undermine COVID-19 prevention. “Since HIV-positive people rarely stay indoors, they will find ways to get out and get help. They may get the virus in the process of not keeping their social distance. Hmm.”

“A malnourished diet or diet is especially dangerous for those who use ARV, because undernutrition can affect the absorption of drugs in the body, according to medical experts. Proper nutrition is essential to the proper functioning of these medicines, ”says Mworeco.

    Irian Woleco is the Eginal coordinator of a precursory international chaos by Levi Asudde living with Astern Frika Hoto Lillian Mworeco, regional coordinator of the international women’s community living with HIV East Africa (ICWEA). (Photo by Elvis Basudde)


Mr Mworeco also says it is impractical to give women and girls trapped in their homes food and ARVs while they are trapped as husbands and wives without condoms to prevent unwanted pregnancies. It also suggests that family planning services should be considered.

He also suggested that implementation partners have been suggested to broaden and incorporate food ingredients in sending Boda Border riders and delivering ARVs to recipients. We shouldn’t just look at medicines because it’s useless without food.

What the government says

“People living with HIV belong to the community and are currently distributing food to the community in Kampala and other areas,” said Rovina Navanja, Minister of Health for General Affairs.

“We are not discriminating while giving food, we are giving to all kinds of people, no HIV positives are quarantined. They do not want a special kind of food As long as we don’t think we have the ability and the money.

I think I tried it as a country. Nabbanja is also attending community implementation agents such as the Institute of Infectious Diseases (IDI), Mildmay, and TASO, who have provided us with a great deal of support.

Nabbanja emphasized that no one is discriminating, adding that those who do not have food will definitely get it right away.

What others say

Happy activist Margret, an HIV activist, says the people who are employed in the informal sector are the hardest hit by the current COVID-19 economic crisis, which has many direct impacts on livelihoods.

“I haven’t seen this much food insecurity. The hundreds of thousands of HIV-positive people with ARV can’t afford to eat for days,” she says. “Soon, without rapid government intervention to scale up, food supply, many people on ARVs will die.”

Akiiki says some ARV therapies, such as Delutegravir Tablets (DTG), which most people living with HIV in Uganda are taking today cause hunger. Swallowing DTG will increase your appetite, make you hungry and want to eat. Also, if you are not working in your current situation, you may not have the money to buy food.

“We don’t focus on convenience, but people infected with HIV have to eat when they take drugs, the government has to deal with food crises, and food Is important to her, “she says.

Despite being hungry, some people living with HIV regret taking ARV on an empty stomach is very harmful. “We warned them not to eat without eating, but some insist,” she says.

Human rights advocate Salome Attim said she received more than 10 HIV-infected individuals who confessed to not taking medications on an empty stomach and fearing side effects that they did not stick to taking ARV.

“Most of the affected people are city-based women who work hand in hand at salons, hotels, deliver food to the ultimate consumer and get some small fees from their bosses.

But because of the blockade, their workplaces are closed and they have no income to buy food that has caused them undesirable consequences. There are also elderly and poor people in the city on the same boat.

James Mugawa, a resident and builder of Bmeiyo Guerrere, told Atim that he had stopped taking HIV drugs because he felt dizzy after taking the drug without eating enough. He has seen skin rashes, dry flaky lips, and weakening of his immune system to the extent of difficulty in breathing and vocalizing. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the money to buy food.

According to a 30-year-old widow living in Kisubi outside Kampala, she quivers when taking ARV on an empty stomach. She sweats a lot and feels the energy leave her body. “ARV is a combination of three drugs in one, and when taken without enough food, the patient becomes very weak and can easily break down because the immunity is already low,” she says. I will.

Danger of taking medicine on an empty stomach

According to Nkoyooyo, antiretroviral drugs have some side effects, and if you swallow them on an empty stomach (ARV), the side effects may worsen and affect you. For example, you may have headaches, abdominal pain, or dizziness.

The reason why ARVs need to be taken when eating something so that the side effects do not get worse can be even more disturbing. Taking a drug without eating it will reduce its potency and prevent it from functioning properly. It is food that helps boost the body’s immunity.

If you swallow the drug on an empty stomach, your immune system will be weakened, and the drug that enhances your immune system and fights infection will be weakened. Also, the low immunity increases the chance of opportunistic infections.

When those infections come, they weaken you, and you make the side effects of the drug giving up even stronger. Keep in mind that if you are infected because you are not eating, your immune system will be compromised, causing other opportunistic infections and exacerbating side effects.

Undernourishment may weaken the body’s defenses against the virus, accelerate the progression of HIV to AIDS, make ARVs more difficult to administer, and increase patient appetite. Adequate food helps reduce some side effects of ARV and promotes adherence to medications

In summary, a series of effects: if you are hungry, and if you are hungry, your body becomes weaker, and if you become weaker when you take a drug, it becomes even weaker. Poor nutrition can affect the absorption of drugs in your body and reduce your resistance to them. Therefore, food is a very important factor for people living with HIV.

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