A PERSON living with HIV has strongly denounced the herbal drugs that are being touted as cures for HIV/AIDS.
He said many people feel that being HIV-positive is a death sentence and go out of their minds by trying anything they feel would cure them.
Anton Tom, who was diagnosed in 2006, and told he had less than a year to live, has travelled to many districts in Morobe province to spread the message of hope.
“I go to places because I understand that people living with HIV are the same as normal people,” he said.
“HIV/AIDS is here to stay and there is nothing we can do to stop this epidemic but we can only minimise and educate especially young people to avoid being infected.
“To fight and minimise this sickness we have to stop stigma and discrimination, living with HIV I realised that HIV people were often discriminated.”
Mr Tom strongly believes hat with love, care and support from families and friends people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) could live normal lives.
He owes his longevity to the antiretroviral (ARV) drugs.
“Herbal juice is not a cure for HIV/ AIDS,” he said.
“The only medicine is the ARV drugs that help build up the immune system.”
Mr Tom said that all over the world people had tried to find a cure but were unsuccessful.
“If learned doctors and scientists around the world can’t find a cure, then how can these bush doctors claim that herbal juice is the cure? he asked.
He believes that with love, care and support taken with the ARV drugs people, could live a normal life without these so called herbs.
Anton has urged all NGOs, Government departments and business houses to co-operate with PLWHA to stand in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
“I urge my brothers and sisters who are HIV positive not to be afraid, ashamed or hide, you must come out so we can hold hands and together stand in the fight against this epidemic,” he said.
“Living with HIV is not a death sentence, it depends on how you look after yourself in you daily life.”