Health HIV and AIDS

A man’€™s battle with alcohol Living with AIDS # 378

Written by Health-e News

After ten years of living with HIV, Pholokgolo Ramothwala’€™s health is showing signs of decline, and he now realizes that he needs to stop taking alcohol.

Since he started publishing his monthly online diary, Pholo, as he known, has written candidly about how his drinking habit is affecting his health negatively. He laughed before he could answer if he abuses alcohol.

‘€œ No, no, no, I think I don’€™t’€ he proclaimed and then continued to tell his ‘€œstory about alcohol’€ : ‘€œIf I drink today. Today is Tuesday. By Wednesday or Thursday I’€™m going to get blocked noses then, I’€™ll start getting herpes. It happens every time when I get drunk.   So, I get to a point where I just think ‘€˜you need to stop, you need to stop, you need to stop’€™. I don’€™t drink it excessively. But with the amount that I drink I sometimes get two main things ‘€“ blocked noses and herpes’€.

‘€œI think I might have developed shingles. I still have the marks on my thigh, which for me, suggests that something is wrong, something is becoming different in my body. The other thing that I now realize is that in summer I get too tired’€.        

‘€œThe reality of the HIV progression in my body kind of knocks on my door to say: ‘€˜You know, actually, I’€™m here. And if you don’€™t improve on your health awareness or if you don’€™t improve on your health I might just come in earlier than planned ‘€“ develop into AIDS’€™.’€, he said.

Pholo is scared that his health is taking strain because of his regular drinking. He has now devised a three-point plan that will include re-enforcing what he’€™s been trying to do for the last 10 years.      

‘€œI need to drop alcohol completely, which is something that I’€™ve already started doing and hopefully, by February next year I would have got into the rhythm of it’€, he said.

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Health-e News

Health-e News is South Africa's dedicated health news service and home to OurHealth citizen journalism. Follow us on Twitter @HealtheNews

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