Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the treatment for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection using a combination of Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. ARV drugs do not ‘kill’ HIV virus but prevents HIV virus from multiplying and destroying infection fighting CD4 (soldier of the body) cells.
CD4 cell are an important part of the immune system because they fight germs and infection. This helps the body fight off life threatening infections and cancer. Although the anti-HIV medication cannot cure HIV infection but ARV stops the HIV virus causing damage to the body.
Early detection of HIV and starting ARV immediately will lead to a good life. Studies shows that people with HIV live much longer due to ARV than those who are not taking ARVs.
Apparently, In Ghana, our brothers and sisters living with HIV cannot get antiretrovirals for sometime now. And if they break treatment, that could cause them other health issues.
There are about 356,000 people living with HIV and about 16,000 new infections are recorded every year in Ghana.
The reason is, as they have put out in a statement, that the drugs arrived at the ports since July, but can’t be cleared because of tax issues. They have been asking the government to waive the taxes, but that hasn’t been done yet, so no antiretrovirals.
Meanwhile, check out the list of what and who get tax exemptions.
We’ve improved over time, but can do better. There can’t be any justification for why antiretrovirals should be held at the ports while our brothers and sisters need them.
As a country, we seem to be too actively more involved in some form of politics and far less governance, and despite the glaring consequences of this conduct, we don’t seem to have learned much from it to change our ways, because the few who feel more important are benefiting.