Persons in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who are living with HIV, are being urged to make use of the life-saving antiretroviral medicines, which are available to them.

This appeal comes from local HIV/AIDS Activist, Mr. Sydney Joseph, commonly known as “Pumpkin”.

In an interview with WEFM News this morning, Mr. Joseph who has been infected with HIV for the past 18 years, and who has been serving as an HIV activist for about 12 years, said that despite the adverse effects of Antiretroviral Drugs, it is important that HIV infected persons start utilizing these medicines and remain on the treatment.

“I’ve seen the success of antiretroviral and know the in and the out and the bad and the good of antiretroviral and I’m appealing to you today, if you are HIV positive and you not on antiretroviral chances are you are going down the wrong road. Antiretroviral was made for HIV. It might seem hard to take at the start but with some peer help you can get along it,” Mr. Joseph said.

He added that “antiretroviral is something that all persons who know their status should be on.”

Mr. Joseph said the health ministry has now changed the way in which HIV treatment is administered.

He said the Ministry of Health now places persons on treatment immediately upon diagnosis. Previously, there was a waiting period between diagnosis and treatment.

Fourteen new HIV infections have been recorded here so far for 2017. And according to the National AIDS Secretariat presently there is a cumulative total of one thousand, five hundred and forty seven HIV cases in this country.

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