COVID-19 Advice for People Living with HIV

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This short video is for people living with HIV. It provides advice about how to stay healthy during the Covid 19 epidemic.

  • COVID 19 poses a serious threat and people living with HIV, together with the general population, should take all recommended preventive measures to reduce exposure to the virus.  It is important to pay full attention to the medical advice you will receive.
  • At present, there is no drug to effectively treat this illness. There is hope for a vaccine but not for some time.
  • The main way to stay well is to prevent yourself from meeting COVID 19 virus, as we will describe. And to continue to take prescribed medications for HIV, and other diseases.
  • You will hear many pieces of false information regarding this disease. Always act as recommended by the World Health Organisation.
  • This advice is not difficult. But does take a lot of effort to follow.

Preventing illness in HIV positive patients

  • All people living with HIV should follow the same precautions as the general population

Be prepared. Ask for support. Give support

  • It is essential during this COVID-19 epidemic that you do not miss any daily doses of your medication for HIV. Missing medication increases your risk of becoming ill with COVID-19. Make sure you have a good supply of your medications. At least a month if possible.
  • It is important to note, however, that poor control of other diseases including diabetes or high blood pressure may put you at higher risk of harm if you suffer COVID-19 infection, so taking medications for these illnesses is also critical during this epidemic.
  • Know how and where to access treatments and other supports within your community.
  • Discuss with your family and friends how to support each other, if you become ill and need to self isolate.  Think about how you would get food and medicines. And who would care for your children.
  • If you are well, ensure your friends have an adequate supply of essential medicines, and make sure you have ways of contacting them.
  • This outbreak of COVID 19 may cause fear and anxiety. So remember to take care of yourselves and connect with loved ones.
  • Finally, remember COVID-19 and HIV are caused by different viruses.
  • The drugs used to treat HIV do not prevent or treat COVID-19.
  • Only use medications as advised by your healthcare worker!

Voice Over: Elias Phiri.

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