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How Kenyans are misusing antiretroviral drugs (ARVs).


Date Posted: 11/29/2013 2:29:18 AM

Posted By: jvk  Membership Level: Silver  Total Points: 330

How Kenyans Are Misusing Antiretroviral Drugs (ARVs).

Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) are the drugs that are used by the people who are infected by HIV/AIDS. It targets the virus (HIV) by stopping the replication process and people who take these drugs usually improve their health and after a while they begin taking normal diet like other healthy people.

The manner in which these drugs are used in Kenya is really surprising. The recent story of farmers of chicken from Murang’a and Thika who are using ARVs in their poultry practice to make those chickens fatter is not a story that can be taken lightly. Their chickens grow faster than usual and they end up selling them earlier at high price making a lot of profit of it.
If you wonder how they get these extra drugs to misuse, you will not be surprised. The people are HIV positive in Kenya are normally given ARVs at no cost by any registered comprehensive care center (CCC) that are distributed countywide and managed by the government. These people who are infected are in most registered in these centres so that they can be managed properly. What happens is that some people tend to register in more than one CCC centre and end up with more antiretroviral drugs. They begin to make money out of it by either using them for other purposes alongside treatment or sell to other people who also use them for unintended purpose.

There have been reported misuses of antiretroviral drugs by the people who make local brew here in Kenya. The local brewers use these drugs to make bottled alcohol that is sold at a cheaper price. At times they combine it with mortuary preservatives in the process of making the local brew. I have heard of these incidents in Nakuru and Murang’a where

these drugs and mortuary preservatives are used to make local brew known as ‘chang’aa’ and it is a famous alcohol consumed by local people of these places.

The concept of misusing ARVs is a behavior that has been copied from other countries such as Uganda and Zimbabwe. For instance in Uganda, these drugs are used in the rearing of pigs to make them grow fatter so that they can sold at high price.

The Kenyans should realize that there are consequences that are associated with the misuse of these drugs. For instance if you take these drugs through those fatten chicken and pigs and yet you are not HIV positive, there is high chance for your body to resist these drugs once you are infected by the HIV/AIDS and you are started on antiretroviral drugs. In a nutshell, the use of these drugs for unintended purpose will lead to shortage and this means that the people who need them will suffer.

It is now upon the people who eat chicken to take initiative of being careful to the type of chicken they buy because you might end up buying the one fed by ARVs. The people living in Nairobi are the most susceptible ones because they are supplied chicken from neighboring towns such as Murang’a and Thika.
Please Kenyans, stop misusing the antiretroviral drugs for our own health and that of our brothers and sisters.

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