World AIDS Day: How science has turned HIV into a treatable, preventable condition

Source: ABC News, Jeremy Fernandez, 1 December 2021

In just half a lifetime, modern science has turned HIV, one of the most fearsome diseases in human history, into a treatable, preventable condition.

It’s a medical marvel that HIV-positive Ruan Uys is reminded of every day.

“I wouldn’t be here popping just one pill a day if it wasn’t for the people who became HIV positive in the eighties,” Ruan said.

“They put their bodies on the line. They trialled new drugs. Blood, sweat, and tears were put into me being able to be here today.”

He was born in 1981 – in the very same year the virus began to spread rapidly.

He was diagnosed with HIV in 2014.

Even though treatment options were well advanced by then, the moment he found out his status hit him hard.

“The memories of those ads of people dying were really imprinted on my mind. I didn’t know about treatments when I got my diagnosis. I thought, ‘is this the end?'” he said.

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