Dr Ifeanyi answers your juicy Shuga health questions
My name is Ifeanyi Dike Jr. I’m an actor, writer and pancake enthusiast. I play the character Michael on Shuga Naija 2.
Michael is an utterly misinformed boy who tries to jeopardize his sister’s relationship once he finds out that her boyfriend is HIV positive.
My other works include playing the characters Tokunbo ‘Titan’ Akinjobi on M-Net’s Tinsel, Leo De Souza on Desperate Housewives Africa and Fred on Gidi Up.
I graduated medical school in 2013 and worked a year with the government as a kickass doctor so as far as this blog is concerned, I got you. Follow me on my social media platforms. @IfeanyiDikeJr on twitter and Ifeanyi Dike Jr on Facebook and Instagram.
In MTV Shuga we see Sheila and Femi and Weki and Leila in a mixed status relationship, commonly known as a magnetic relationship? What exactly is a magnetic relationship?
A magnetic relationship is one that involves only one half of a couple being HIV positive and the other half, HIV negative. Opposites attract, get it?
In episode 1, Tobi slept with a girl without a condom. What ideally should he do?
Hey Tobi, okay calm down now. Don’t panic. First, get tested immediately if you didn’t already know your status. Then get tested again after 3 months and then at 6 months. If you think this girl might have HIV, report to a HIV centre or a hospital and they will advise on whether or not you should begin PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis). These pills would prevent against contracting the virus if taken at the appropriate time and for the appropriate duration. It is very important you see a doctor before you take any pills as those too have dangerous side effects and might not be necessary in your case. Most importantly Tobi, please don’t have unprotected sex again. Like, ever! Until of course, you are in a committed union with someone you can trust and whose status you are aware of.
If two people are in a magnetic relationship, can they have a healthy sex life?
Yes, they can indeed! They just have to talk to a doctor or a health worker at the HIV centre for advice before they start having sex if they haven’t already started. The HIV positive partner also has to be on his/her Anti Retroviral Drugs to keep his viral load low and by extension reduce the risk of transmitting the virus. The HIV negative partner has to check his/her status regularly and may also need to be on prophylactic drugs but of course only on a doctor’s advice. Remember using a condom is still important and if the couple decides to start a family, a doctor would advise on the necessary steps to take. Sounds like a lot of advising going on? That’s only because knowledge is power!
What are the different methods of HIV transmission?
HIV is transmitted when certain bodily fluids from an infected person comes in contact with the mucous membrane, damaged tissue or by direct injection into the bloodstream (from a needle or syringe) of a HIV negative person. Mucous membranes can be found inside the rectum, the vagina, the opening of the penis, and the mouth. These fluids include – blood, pre-seminal fluid, seminal fluid, vaginal fluid, rectal fluid and breast milk. They do NOT include sweat, tears or saliva (there have been no documented cases of transmission through these.)
Transmission of the fluids can occur through
– Unprotected sex
– Sharing sharp objects such as nail cutters, needles, hair clippers and other sharp objects.
– Mother to child transmission during birth or breastfeeding
You WILL NOT get HIV from social kissing, hugging, sharing utensils or generally showing love to affected people.
In episode 4, Weki who is HIV positive slept with Leila who is HIV negative, they used a condom, but would she be at risk of getting HIV?
No method of HIV prevention is 100% effective except of course no sex at all. But using a condom correctly drastically reduces the risk of getting infected by the virus. Also, Weki is consistent with his antiretroviral drugs and as long as he and Leila do not engage in any other risky behavior such as sharing sharp objects or having unprotected sex with other people while still in their relationship, the chances of Leila NOT contracting HIV are pretty high. Good job Weki and Leila on protecting yourselves. Thumbs up!
Princess is HIV positive and pregnant, what makes it possible for her to have a healthy HIV negative baby?
Congratulations Princess on your beautiful baby. Asides laying around like a couch potato and eating unhealthily, I would say Princess took all the right steps I must say. First step for a pregnant HIV positive woman is to register with an antenatal clinic so that she can be monitored. The doctor in charge of her case would advice on what mode of delivery is best depending on a few factors ranging from viral load to CD4 count and general well being of the mother. These decisions would help inform the doctors better in birthing a very healthy child.
Princess is HIV positive and is choosing to breastfeed her HIV negative baby. Is there any risk of transmission to the baby?
Yes there is a risk of mother to child transmission through breastfeeding. Her doctor however would advise on the necessary precautions to take if breastfeeding is agreed upon. Such precautions would include compulsory exclusive breastfeeding for an advised duration of time. This means, the child would only be fed breast milk for those months agreed upon. The child would also be placed on an Antiretroviral syrup for 6 weeks after which the baby will be tested using the DBT (Dry Blood Test) method and subsequent tests at designated times.