By YVONNE HAIP
THE best time to start using the anti-retroviral (ARV) drug is before patients become unwell or develop infections and other complications.
A person living with HIV/AIDS in the Western Highlands province said it was also better to know your HIV/AIDS status by visiting a voluntary counselling and testing centre (VCT) so you get early treatment and keep yourself health and fit.
Rose Tamage, a person living with HIV/AIDS, said this last weekend at the Bible Faith Outreach Orphanage Centre in Mt Hagen city.
She said it was better to get tested and live on the ARV instead of waiting until it was too late and also help to minimise the chances of infecting others without knowing it.
Ms Tamage said currently, ARV was her lifeline which kept her healthy and physically fit and challenged others saying that living in denial was worse than knowing your status.
She said there was hope for those infected with the availability of ARV because patients could live longer and healthier with the support of family and friends, and also have the chance to spend more time with their children.
She said living with the virus was not a problem, but knowing that their children would be left behind is more heartbreaking than any other problems that one could come across.
Ms Tamage said the children’s future was more important and parents must make sure that they are faithful to each other and make sure their kids were brought up properly.
Meanwhile, orphanage operator Rosa Kepo said dealing with kids who lost one or both parents to HIV, had given her a deep respect for children’s needs.
She said the children were future leaders and needed all the love and care in the world in order to mould them to become good citizens.