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:
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.