Some people are not good informed about the way to use ARV. Once they feel better, some people stop using their HIV-medication. And then they’ll get sick again. Yesterday Untenu and Bandanh Chaktomok gave food and medical aid to a 30 years young gay man because he got seriously ill when he stopped taking his ARV.
The dangers of skipping your ARV treatment
It is something we hear several times a year. In brief: people get sick, get an HIV test, they appear to be HIV positive. The hospital prescribes the ARV (Antiretrovirals or sometimes called ART, Antiretroviral treatment) and the patient starts to take their medication. After a while they start feeling better. And some of them stop taking them. Sometimes out of ignorance, sometimes because they don’t have the money to collect the medication at the clinic.
Read here why you should never stop taking your HIV medication.
H. stopped taking his ARV
H. is a 30 years young gay man from Battambang, Cambodia. He went to work as a handyman in Thailand. He carried things for market sellers, worked as a domestic worker. After a while he decided to start as a sex worker in Pattaya, Thailand. When H. got sick and proved to be HIV positive, he returned home to Battambang. He started taking ARV, but when he felt better again, he stopped and got sick again.
H. lives with his mother under poor conditions, and this way the team of Bandanh Chaktomok found him and contacted Untenu Foundation. We allocated the money needed for food and nutrition and for treatment in the hospital. We have good hope he will recover and start taking ARV again.
It must be clear to all people living with HIV: take your HIV medication for the rest of your life. It keeps you healthy. When you stop, HIV comes back again and you will get ill again.