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

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By pharmadesuwa Posted in health

17 comments on “Some truths about Truvada

  1. Soo una don hear.. Me sef don hear. Truvada no b HIV cure which means if u must hav sex still use a condom or make sure u and ur partner knw ur status. Ade we really appreciate dis educative info cos some ppl fit no knw.

  2. Nice. We ve been using truvada for a while now. Even as 1st line. The honest truth is with my little knowledge I don’t even support this pREP. Unwanted pregnancies,abortions and other STIs would soon be on the increase. Then what happens wen some 1 on pPREP all the time 1 day bcomes infected. The chances of developing resistance increases. My best advice 4 us all is dnt even come in contact with the virus. Prevent that. Ade u r doin a good job. Keep it up.

  3. Aww love ur article. Didn’t know pple don’t know d full reality of d virus o. Thumbs up for a good, I mean enlightening article.

  4. I can’t believe its adults dat wrote dem comments about getting their freak on coz truvada is around on their pm. After they will be saying there’s no job in nigeria *smh*. Truvada or not, I kuku hate drugs. I wonder why someone will want to settle 4 taking drugs 4 d rest of his/ her life. Y not do d right thing? Use a condom or beta still, abstain like me ;;). Nice one ade! (Y)

  5. Tru talk!
    Wisdom is nt only in grey hair, it begins wen u ‘use umbrella wen its raining'(or wen u decide 2 call on d rain) or @best kip it uncomplic8ed and abstain ‘lik me’.
    I feel sad and pathetic@d sametym dispensin ARV drugs 2beautiful young, healthy lukin fellows, un4tun8ly sm innocently contract it 4rm their spouse wit uncontrollable ‘area 1’
    Thumbs up jare!

  6. Tru talk!
    Wisdom is nt only in grey hair, it begins wen u ‘use umbrella wen its raining'(or wen u decide 2 call on d rain) or @best kip it uncomplic8ed and abstain ‘lik me’.
    I feel sad and pathetic@d sametym dispensin ARV drugs 2beautiful young, healthy lukin fellows, un4tun8ly sm innocently contract it 4rm their spouse wit uncontrollable ‘area 1’
    Thumbs up jare!

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