In Indonesia, you are required to fast for about 13 hours. For those who do not have health problems, of course this is not too influential. However, what about people with HIV /AIDS aka PLWHA, can ODHA fast?
Because they have to routinely take antiretroviral drugs every 12 hours. ARVs are a type of drug to restrain the progression of the HIV virus that causes AIDS. Rules for taking ARV drugs are very strict, because they are directly related to the level of HIV development in the blood. What must be given by ODHA to keep fasting? See the following explanation.
Can ODHA fast?
Actually, PLWHA can fast as long as their physical condition is good and not sick. The condition of the body is indeed a determining factor whether a person living with HIV is able to fast or not. So, if conditions are very vulnerable and not possible, don't force them to fast.
The decision to fast or not is indeed in the hands of ODHA themselves. However, they still have to consider the impact on health during fasting because the lack of supply of ARV drugs in the blood will provide a great opportunity for the HIV virus to multiply.
Quoted from the Okezone page, Dr. Paul F Matulessy MN SpGK, a clinical nutrition specialist said the same thing, there is no such thing as an obstacle for ODHA to fast as long as their condition is healthy. Because the right way to fast will be healthy for PLWHA. In addition, by fasting PLWHA are trained to be disciplined and help PLWHA adhere to taking ARVs.
How do you take ARV drugs during fasting?
ODHA is recommended to consume ARVs if the CD4 is below 350. CD4 is a type of white blood cell or lymphocyte. These cells are an important part of the human immune system.
In people with good immune systems, CD4 values range from 1400-1500. Whereas in people with impaired immune systems such as people living with HIV, CD4 values will progressively decline. If the CD4 is reduced, microorganisms that are pathogens around us will easily enter the body so that they can cause disease in the human body.
Similar to the time outside of Ramadan, PLWHA should take ARV regularly during Ramadan so that the body does not experience diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and infection with active viruses such as tuberculosis, toxo, and pneumonia.
There are those who take ARVs once a day, there are also twice a day. ARVs taken once a day can be taken at night before going to bed. While ARVs taken twice a day have a 12 hour lag. Well during fasting this ARV drug can be consumed when breaking fast and dawn.
Taking ARVs does have to be routine and timely, but during fasting there is no problem backing up or advancing the time you take ARVs. PLWHA can start changing the time to take ARV drugs one to two weeks before fasting arrives slowly.
For example, if PLHIVs usually take ARVs at 7:00 a.m., they can slowly withdraw their time to 6.30. Then on the next day drink at 6 am, and so on until you usually take ARVs at dawn.
In addition to routine medication, what else should be considered by PLWHA during fasting?
During fasting, PLWHA are also highly recommended to pay attention to the intake of nutritious food when breaking fast and dawn to avoid various diseases which later will have a negative impact on the body's condition.
As for activities in the fasting month that should be run for PLWHA, it is actually no different from people in general. It's just that, it must be adapted to the abilities of each ODHA.
It is better for ODHA to consult a doctor before deciding to do fasting. This is done to ensure that their bodies are in good condition, making it possible to fast in the month of Ramadan.
- Diet Guide for HIV /AIDS Patients
- 5 Tips That Can Be Done to Overcome Hunger During Fasting
- 6 Tips for Not Getting Sick When Fasting