Ghana’s former HIV/AIDS ambassador, Joyce Dzidzor Mensah, has said she met a lot of people in the ‘industry’ but most of them have died. However, she is alive because she avoided alcohol and smoking.
According to her, antiretroviral drugs don’t work with alcohol and smoking but some patients do this in an attempt to reduce depression during the early stage of contracting the disease.
“Life after testing HIV positive is a whole lot, and hard work,” Joyce, who recently tested HIV positive on live TV, told Kofi Adomaa. “If you are living with the condition, you have to accept that the virus is living with you so you should learn about it.”
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She said the only way to live longer than the life expectancy for people living with HIV is to listen to doctors.
“You should follow doctor’s instructions and prescriptions. Do not deviate, it doesn’t work like that. Every sickness has its preventive measures. You may die early when you go against the preventive measures, but when you follow doctor’s instructions, you will live longer.”
She continued: “I’m living long because I adhere to doctor’s instructions. I don’t consume alcohol frequently, I do it occasionally. I drink wine once in a while. Even that, I don’t like the taste of alcohol so I don’t drink often. I was told not to smoke so I didn’t. I once did a live Facebook video jamming to Wendy Shay’s songs and smoked. People thought I was smoking, but I was acting.”
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“The antiretroviral drugs don’t work with alcohol and smoking. But these are some of the things HIV/AIDS patients do to reduce depression. You have to take good care of yourself when you have one. I met a lot of people in the industry but they have died,” she concluded.