Friday, 28 November 2014


There are two groups of people suffering from HIV/AIDS. Both live in Papua New Guinea and many other parts of the world.

There is the group with permanent access to anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs. They will be able to turn back almost to normal provided they continue to take the drugs. The virus in their blood has been destroyed thus stopping the attack on the small intestine.

They are able to return to absorption of nutrients, salts and water through the gut wall. They can put on weight and live for many more years, perhaps 20-40 more years.

Then there is the group living in isolated areas with no access to ARV. They drop to death within a matter of years. The virus attacks the small intestine slowly stopping the absorption of nutrients, salts and water. 

The sufferer drops in weight almost to a skeleton. The loss of protein causes finger and toe nails to break and hair to fall out. After about 6-8 years, they begin to suffer dementia with hallucinations and delusions.

They will die within two or three years more. It is in the interests of all sufferers to gain unbroken access to ARV and for the Government to make sure that ARV is available to isolated areas without any break in supply.

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