The Communication Initiative Networks
convening the communication and media development, social and behaviour change community
Subject: HIV and TB implicatons
With the global reach of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now more important than ever for those who are (or may be) living with HIV or TB to get tested and adhere rigidly to their ART or TB treatment.
Here is a metaphorical story which can be used to explain why, in a way that motivates testing and treatment adherence:
Imagine that, for a long time, you have been fighting a deadly duel with an opponent called Higgins. You are quite evenly matched. Initially Higgins attacked strongly, but you quickly found ways to counter his attacks and suppress him. But he hid so that you could not finish him off completely and he continued to niggle and attack you. You are now exhausted and it has become increasingly difficult to suppress the relentless attacks by Higgins.
Suddenly an energetic, fresh opponent joins Higgins in attacking you. An opponent with different weapons and tactics that you know nothing about. What chance do you have against both of them?
The new opponent is the new coronavirus. Higgins is HIV, and this is the situation you could face if you are living with HIV (or TB) and you are not getting effective treatment.
However if you are taking ARVs as prescribed and they are working, this is like having a tough co-fighter with you, who wrestles Higgins to the ground and sits on him so he cannot move. HIV is suppressed to undetectable levels, freeing your body’s immune system to rebuild the strength it needs to fend off an attack by the new coronavirus and other infections.
The same principle applies equally to TB testing and adherence to TB treatment.
Please share this freely and use/adapt this metaphorical story as you see fit to convey this message: The now universal possibility of infection as COVID-19 continues to spread makes it vitally important to test and adhere strictly to treatment for both HIV and TB.
BRIDGES OF HOPE TRAINING – Inspiring Healthy Lives
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Mar 19 2020 – 9:09pm