In this episode, Srinivas from KSAPS talks about raising awareness on ART adherence among the youth at a marriage bureau.
The attendants had come from different districts of Karnataka in an attempt to find life partners from the PLHIV community. “Many of you have abandoned your ART regimens thinking of its side effects, but that is not advisable. The side effects will fade away in a few days, following which your body will adjust to the symptoms. Whatever is mentioned in your counselling sessions needs to be followed without fail. Your health will then be within your control and you will be able to avoid other infections.”
Youngsters are always at the risk of developing addictions and breaking the chain of ART tablets. This can lead to fatally low immunity levels. PLHIV have requested for more peer counsellors at ART centers instead of regular counsellors because peer counsellors share their personal experiences and help motivates the patients. At the marriage bureau, participants revealed that at a few counselling centers where peer counsellors are available, their services are negligible; the main counsellors, too, are unable to work well because the number of patients is usually very high. PLHIV members are, thus, hesitant about opening up.