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
Aside

First things first. I’m really overwhelmed by the number of views and responses my very first post gathered. Not like I was expecting anything less because I’m a strong believer and a ‘I am determined to never giff up’ ~in Kanu Nwankwo’s voice~ kinda girl…JUST KIDDING!!! I’M ECSTATIC! Let me just cut down on the excitement and say a supa-dupa Thank you to everyone who visited, read, assimilated, understood, didn’t understand, shared, criticized, laughed at, and commented on the post. God will make y’all bigger.

I promised to get back to the guys on my next post. As a sort of a disclaimer, this post hereby denies any affiliation with anybody living or dead, any coincidence observed is just what is – a coincidence. That said, I may proceed.

Some months back, I was in my office…well, a part-time job in a community pharmacy situated at Wuse2, Abuja. Sandwiched between notorious hangouts like Wine Shop and Amigos supermarket (yea, people “hang’ there FYI), it did not come as a surprise the categories of drugs and non-drug items that customers demand for. Anyways…this beautiful evening – I work on evening shifts- a dapper young man came in and asked for Ampi-clox, a popular antibiotic brand in Nigeria. Off I went to the shelves, bringing him 2 sachets, which is the specified complete dose. To my dismay, which quickly turned to amusement, this dude said he wanted just 2 capsules. I was honestly surprised, and tried to be all professional about it, trying to explain the pharmaceutical balderdash about the effects of incomplete antibiotic dosage regimen, but my guy would hear none of it. He raved and ranted and questioned my certificate.

mad man I witnessed smoky ears for the first time, no jokes.

When the fracas was finally over, one of the sales-lady called me aside and told me this juicy scoop, ‘Pharmacist, no mind them o, na so them dey do…when them sleep with ashewo finish, them go take 2 capsules of Ampi-clox make them no cash HIV’. I’m like Shuooo??? Shebi HIV na virus? How will an anti-bacterial agent prevent an infection by a virus? Make una help me wonder.

In the months that followed, I encountered several similar situations. Guys ranging from the smart, eloquent and well-dressed, to the ones with abundant swagger to supply the continent, to the ones so razz, a MAULAG babe wouldn’t even think twice about are involved in this act. If we are friends, and you indulge in this shameless and quite senseless act, I really don’t know what to say to you.

I had a male friend once who believed males are almost immune to sexually transmitted diseases. His reason? The length of the penile shaft. For the Yoruba audience (no offense intended), he means the length of his penis. Still don’t understand? Ask the man next to you. I agree with him, because comparing the male reproductive system to that of the females, males have just ONE opening to the outside world, while females have about 3 0r 4. Do the maths. Let me explain this with a simple diagram.

File:Male anatomy en.svg

This is the male reproductive system, if by now, you don’t know. You see the urethral opening? That is the only route for movement in and out of the male urogenital system. As I said, I agreed on the near-immunity of males to STDs based on their anatomy. Before micro-organisms travel from any part of a man’s body to the urethral opening, a woman will use the same time to finish dressing up for that wedding…meaning it takes a long time. Heck, the man might just go take a shower, and a good percentage of the organisms will be gone. I can see some dudes smiling.

Wait a minute. We see you. We see you walking down the street, in clubs, at that birthday party, doing the occasional, or in some, ‘frequent’ ‘packing’. Packing had always amused me, right from my early pubertal years. It took me a university degree to find out it was a semi-cool way of alleviating the itchy feeling behind your boxers. Let me give you something to ponder about male itching.

  • Almost all STDs have the initial symptoms of itching. Do not itch in silence, visit a Physician.
  • Apart from the risk of contacting HIV, do you know Syphilis? It is such an annoying disease that nobody wants to claim its bragging rights. Italians called it “the Spanish disease.” The French dubbed it “the English disease.” Among Russians, it was known as “the Polish disease.” Among Arabs? “The disease of Christians“. The disease, syphilis, begins by causing crusty sores in private places. After hiding out in the body for years, it can emerge to drive people insane and then kill them. I think you should have gotten the information by now.
  • Have you also heard of Gonorrhea, Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 infection, Human Papiloma virus infection, and Chlamydia infection? Along with HIV and Syphilis, they are the 6 most common STDs in men. Despite tremendous advances in understanding and controlling STDs, they’re still out there spoiling the party. Don’t let them spoil yours.
  • You are such a badass guy that you can’t wash your underwear, or you don’t even wear at all? Things would soon go bad.

Men's underwear picture featuring SLY Underwear Wear clean underwear!

  • How sexually clean are you? Some of you don’t care if the girl is the dirtiest pig in town. The girl going down on you, do you know her? Some girls carry the oral forms of STDs. A guy gisted me once, ‘… the girl smelt sooo badly, but if you see her ‘uku’ (waist) ehn, Adesuwa, I couldn’t just resist… I slept with her o, but I treated myself later…’ Treated yourself for what, If i may ask?
  • I even heard some of you reuse condoms. Ahn,ahn, Gold circle brand of condoms is just N30.oo for a pack of three.
  • The prevalence of young hot females living with HIV/AIDs is alarming, no jokes. This doesn’t stop them from fixing brazillian weaves, doing french tips, or colour blocking. My point is, they are attractive. While HIV is not a death sentence, Do not risk it. Know your status no be curse. Strive to know the status of your partner(s).

forget the horse.. ride a cowboy         She’s sizzling, right? spare her a second thought pls…

  • You think wiping your butt after taking a dump is feminine? Maybe the formation of irritating sores around your favourite region should jolt your thinking faculty to reality.
  • The girl said no? Good. You might have just saved yourself from a killer disease. Let her go…everything good will come.

This last bit is for the ladies. If, for any reason, your not comfortable with the sanitary condition of your guy’s privates, do not succumb to his moves. Don’t listen to ‘Baby just the tip’, or ‘Ok just your tongue’.  What about this my guy who has just finished eating suya and/or pepper soup and the next thing, he wants to perform cunnilingus on his babe. That is all sorts of evil and inconsiderate. Show some respect please! Ladies, let me inform you that his love will not save you from the deadly Pelvic Inflammatory Disease and other wicked infections. His strong love should be enough to drive him into the bathroom to adequately wash up. I hope I have not cramped anybody’s style o.

Any questions, comments, contributions? Don’t you ever hesitate to ask me.

It’s me again, Adesuwa. Have a safe weekend!

Just before you go hard!