Aside

My friends, how are you all?

Your week? Hope everything is going on fine.

It is with great ‘para‘ (an emotion similar to anger) that I write this post, and I sincerely hope somebody doesn’t take it personal. This is the point where I’ll put up a disclaimer.

‘This post is strictly a work of fiction and entirely from Adesuwa’s imagination, research, and experience. Any semblance to any being, living or dead, is merely a coincidence’.

Some 2,3 months ago, I was going through the recent updates on my BBM where I saw some disturbing updates about the so-called wonder drug, Truvada.Some guy said ‘Ope o, I can now stop spending money on condoms, because Truvada don come oo‘. Another one read ‘abeg Abeg abeg, when Truvada go reach Naija, I wanna get my freak on‘. These utterances were made based on some misguided, or misinterpreted reports saying Truvada was the cure for HIV/AIDS. I solemnly say I’m not making this up, plus I never knew I had such ignorant people on my BBM. But hey, nobody knows everything, that’s one reason why I decided to write something on this matter. Let me start by giving you a little information about how HIV drugs perform their actions.

Hey you. I know you know everything about HIV, it being deadly and all that…let me inform you that HIV/AIDs can NEVER be over-flogged. Never. So do yourself some good by reading and learning something you might not know.

HIV is ‘Human Immunodeficiency Virus’ as most of you know. It belongs to a class ‘Retroviridae‘, which makes it a Retrovirus. Unlike other viruses, a Retrovirus (trying so hard not to use big big medical jargons) is not a DNA molecule, but an RNA molecule. So it converts to DNA by the help of an enzyme, ‘reverse transcriptase’ . The resulting DNA is then integrated into the host’s (e.g., humans) nucleus by another enzyme, ‘integrase‘, from where the virus takes over DNA synthesis. By the way, DNA is necessary for production of proteins,( not dietary ones) which are important for proper functioning of the body and it’s organs. HIV belongs to a subclass called ‘lentiviridae‘, (lente, Latin for “slow“) characterized by a long incubation period, meaning they can stay in ones’s system for a very long time, usually the duration of one’s life.

Back to the drugs, which are known as Anti-retroviral drugs, they act by inhibiting the actions of those enzymes. Truvada is a combination of two drugs, Tenofovir (as Tenofovir dinoproxil fumarate) and Emtricitabine. Both act by inhibiting the ‘reverse transcriptase’ enzyme.

This is the post that supposedly caused the confusion:

According to Huffingtonpost.com, The Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection, the latest milestone in the 30-year battle against the virus that causes AIDS. The agency approved Gilead Sciences’ pill Truvada as a preventive measure for healthy people who are at high risk of acquiring HIV through sexual activity, such as those who have HIV-infected partners.

But if I’m seeing clearly, there’s nowhere in this report and that reported by CNN that Truvada is a CURE for HIV/AIDs. From Truvada.com, the makers gave this notice:

TRUVADA is used in HIV negative adults along with safer sex practices to reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 in men who have sex with men who are at high risk for getting infected with HIV-1 through sex, and heterosexual couples where one partner has HIV-1 and the other does not. This is called Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP.

TRUVADA blocks the action of a protein that HIV needs to infect your body (as I earlier explained).

TRUVADA does not cure HIV or AIDS, using it alone may not keep you from getting HIV. If you have HIV infection, you may still get other infections that happen in people with HIV like TB (tuberculosis) or fungus, while taking TRUVADA.

For those asking if Truvadais available in Nigeria, Yes it is. I have seen and touched it…(look at the picture below, i’m holding a generic brand) Nigeria isn’t that backwards.

In the hospital I work in, it is very much available but reserved for patients in which first line treatment has failed.
From all I have mentioned, there should be no reason why an otherwise healthy individual would want to become promiscuous because ‘Truvada don come‘. It is very expensive, and the side effects are not palatable at all at all. Apart from the usual nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, a buildup of acid in the blood (lactic acidosis, life-threatening), Serious liver problems (hepatotoxicity), with liver enlargement (hepatomegaly), and fat in the liver (steatosis). In some cases, these serious conditions have led to death. Besides, one would have to take this drug for life, and in combination with other anti-retrovirals. Why not save yourself the stress?
For those living with the virus, it isn’t a death sentence I assure you, and I will give you real life situations in my next post. For those living without the virus, be rest assured that nothing exempts you from being infected…absolutely nothing. So before you act recklessly, in hopes that a cure is available for HIV/AIDs, please think again.
Methinks I have vented enough. As a rejoinder, we should learn to make use of internet search engines. Blackberries, androids and iPhones are not only for social networking. When you are in doubt, browse. If not for anything, when people are discussing about an issue, you would have something positive to say, instead of looking like a ‘suegebe‘. Nuff said.
Stay blessed,stay safe, and refuse to set that intimate ‘P’ with that hot chic or cute guy you know absolutely nothing about!

20120810-183119.jpgAn HIV patient with kaposi sarcoma, a form of cancer.

20120810-183224.jpg Me holding a generic brand of Truvada

20120810-183239.jpg The patent brand

Some truths about Truvada

By pharmadesuwa Posted in health

Suffering and smiling?hell yeah!


Hello everyone! How has the week been? I’m sure we are all looking forward to the weekend…

Kai, keeping a blog ain’t easy as I thought, as I have been cracking my brain for a suitable topic to write about. Sorry about the wait (for those who actually waited), but it sure feels good when visitors to the blog pester me to put up a new post. I hope this will be worth your wait.

E NO EASY EHHHH

I don’t know why people see me as being short-tempered. People who eventually become close to me are usually surprised to find out otherwise. I just have a sharp mouth, as some would say. This sharp mouth though, becomes handy when some annoying people ‘need to be put in check’, as we Nigerians are always quick to do. I did this a lot as a teenager, and it stopped several bullies from messing with me. I even bullied a prefect back in Queen’s college, who didn’t know I was her junior by 4 years…true cool story. I should get a pat in the back for that, no?

Anyways, as I grew older, and learnt more about diseases and drugs, some things became clearer. I discovered that some people act inappropriately because of some underlying factors, which may or may not be health-related. Let me give you a real life illustration.

I was in my office in that same community pharmacy in Wuse 2, on a warm, cheery evening. A woman walks in, and after exchanging pleasantries, she handed me a prescription. Among other drugs contained the prescription was the popular ‘Chemiron’ capsules, a haematinic (or blood tonic as we call it). I brought out the drugs and was about costing them when the woman started screaming ‘I don’t want Chemiron, why did you give me that rubbish’. You know most Nigerians believe when an item is cheap, it is of extremely low quality. I apologised, and explained to her that I just followed what was written on the prescription, but she would hear none of that. After trying SOOOO hard not to reply her, she said and I quote ‘ I don’t know what is wrong with all this useless graduates of nowadays…I train people like you, you girls without home training’. All these while, I was still attending to her, and the next words i heard was‘If you try this rubbish again, I would bring my 9-year old daughter to give you a dirty slap’. GHEN GEUN!!! Maybe my ears’ connection were touching, but she said it again, and I became certain I was dealing with a really sick woman. Because of the professional environment I was in, I called on my colleague to attend to her before I did something unprofessional, and went into the inner office. At the close of work, I was going through the treated prescriptions when I found out that the woman had come earlier to get a particular drug, Haloperidol, which is an anti-psychotic drug. You can’t imagine how happy I was that I didn’t exchange words with her, because she obviously had problems that were beyond her control.

Now, there are millions of frustrated people out there, believe me. People just flare up for very funny reasons. Before you ‘attack’ that girl who insulted you, or secretly curse your boss who continually berates you, or think your boyfriend or girlfriend is changing and you want to break up, He or she may be experiencing the following, knowingly or unknowingly.

  Horrible boss!  But let him be…

  • Diarrhea: This is My personal number one cause for irrational behaviour, a.k.a ‘running stomach’ (only Jah knows where its running to) or purging. My friends, shit don hook you before? Especially when you are nowhere near a convenience. It really can make one mad, causing an actual ‘verbal diarrhea’. Rather than reply that girl in your office whose yab touched you in the wrong place, keep quiet or smile. You don’t want her to accidentally ‘drop it like it’s hot’ while exchanging words.
  • Diseases affecting the brain: This includes Schizophrenia, Depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. Part of the non-drug therapy is Tolerance. Since you can’t tell who is affected by this disease, it pays to make an extra effort to tolerate people unknown to you.

                                           

  • Substance addiction: Items ranging from Super glue, Horse faeces to Benylin with Codeine and Marijuana are abused by people. Most addicts have violent behaviours, and an attempt to correct, insult or put them in check might just leave you wounded or dead.
  • Migraine/Cluster headache: This can make someone super-irritable, surely i can get witnesses to this fact.
  • Hypertension: From the prefix ‘hyper’ (jokes), you can imagine how such an individual will behave, especially when not controlled. Let the anger pass, before he drops dead on you as you both are having an altercation.
  • Sex deprivation: Yes,oh yes, this is a huge cause of people’s frustration. You see that young man jumping queues in the banking hall, and when confronted, insults the generation of everyone present? You can be sure that his wife has refused copulation for 7months, and he hasn’t the heart to cheat on her. Help him by smiling and refusing to get caught in his frustrating web.

Happy couple, eh? Look well, he might be sex starved. It’s called ‘Suffering and smiling’.

  • Emotional trauma: This is more common in females. The other day in the hospital, a nurse, well in her ‘marriageable years’ but unmarried had this to say to a woman who had just put to bed, when she called out for help…‘abeg no be because of you i come work today o, me self go born pikin one day’. Because other members of staff knew about her irrational behaviour caused by her unmarried status, she was ignored. Morale of the story? A lot of people are undergoing emotional problems, and it will do you well to just ignore and let them be.

                        WHY NOT LAUGH IT OFF!                                         

  • Financial handicap: This is otherwise known as ‘being broke’. Some girls resort to being in the “INEC – I NEVER EVEN CHOP” group when they are broke. We all have had our broke stages. So when next you see that handsome, well dressed man in the restaurant with a surprisingly nasty attitude, he’s probably thinking how’s he’s going to raise the money to foot the bill of the lunch he, his girlfriend, and 6 of her friends had just had. We girls can be that wicked.
  • Living in bondage: Some are being followed from their villages. You don’t wanna mess with such people, before they skype you with broken mirror.

I could go on with more reasons not to be nasty to that annoying person. But I’m sure I have bored you already. 🙂

P.S. Nigerians, please take it easy on the Ghanaians, they have just lost their president. Laughing at our loss in the Basketball match might just be their way of grieving. Tamper justice with mercy. (Nigerian voltrons please don’t shoot me o, lol).

Until next post, be a nice, happy bunny.

Mwah!!!