January 09, 2019
When Genet first came to Ethiopia ACT, she had recently been diagnosed with HIV and Pulmonary Tuberculosis (TB). She had no food and did not fully understand her disease or how to take the proper medication. She refused to accept the fact that she had HIV, and she feared an imminent death.
Additionally, her CD4 count (the most important indicator of immune function & strongest predictor of HIV progression) had dropped dramatically from 300 to 75. As a result, she could no longer tolerate the side effects of her TB medication. This was all occurring right before she came to Ethiopia ACT. Needless to say, her health was in a precarious position. Ethiopia ACT’s healthcare department rallied around Genet to ensure she had the required medication. They taught her about adherence to her treatment regiment, encouraged and provided Spiritual support.
Additionally, we decided to prescribe and provide a protein rich diet (plenty of milk and eggs) so her stomach could have the strength to resist the negative side effects of her TB medication for two months. After this, she was introduced with Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) for her HIV, which previously had made her ill due to “Immune Reconstitution Syndrome.” The effects of her health weighed heavily on Genet and she felt very little hope.
However, after five months of the prescribed regimen, her health improved drastically and by month six, her CD4 had increased to 150!
Currently her CD4 is 232, and her health condition is tremendously improved. Her TB treatment is finished, and she is continuing with her regular ART medication.
Genet has the strength to hold a steady job where she is employed at a private organization. She is so excited for her future that she is formulating a new plan to start her own business through the assistance of Ethiopia ACT!