According to The World Bank
About 12 million young people between 15 to 24 live with HIV/AIDS
6,800 more people are infected with HIV every day! Almost half of them are under 25!
Young women are about three times more vulnerable to HIV infection that their male peers
2 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2007
2.5 million people became infected with HIV in 2007
96% of infected people live in developing countries
Rosie and Rachel are more than just numbers, just part of the statistics, they are two of the sweetest, most humble, little girls. Last week my parents were here and I took them to FK to have a look around the library and to meet some of the TFFT scholarship students, when we walked into the class room, Rosie came up to me, grabbed my hand and lead to me to a sheet of paper on the wall, which ranked all the students for June, Rosie was number one on her class! I was so proud I wanted I cry!
HIV belongs to a group of pathogens known as retroviruses, which carry their genetic material on a single strand of RNA-rather than the double stranded DNA. It chooses White Blood cells as its host cell, on the lymphocytes surface they are studded with CD4 molecules. For HIV these act like a piece of Velcro and the virus binds to these molecules and forces it’s way in, commandeering the cell’s DNA, and replicates itself-one cell can produce 10,000 viruses. These burst out of the host cell, destroying it in the process, and look for more cells to invade.
Until Rosie and Rachel’s CD4 count is below 200 they are not eligible for ARV’s (anti-retroviral drugs), they are however susceptible to opportunistic infections. It is heart breaking when we take them to the dream clinic for their check up’s and blood work. It is heart breaking that treatment-ARV’s-are being rolled out so slowly, it is heart breaking that despite mother-to-child transmission being preventable, it wasn’t for these two little orphaned girls.
Yesterday I met with a Homeopath based in Arusha who mentioned Peter Chappell’s work in Ethiopia with HIV/AIDS, and the resultant remedy PC1(AF), which helps with appetite, breathing, weight, resistance to infection, and generally makes people feel better. It has been extensively tried on people around the world with AIDS, with marked evidence that the resistance to infection strengthens and the immune system is boosted. One great thing about PC1 is there are no side effects, as it is a natural remedy, and it requires low compliance. We have started Rosie and Rachel on it in order to try and boost their immune systems.