Dr. Patrick Matemilola has lived with HIV for almost 30 years having been diagnosed with HIV in 1992. He, however, says he has never taken antiretroviral drugs to subdue the virus but has been able to stay healthy and maintain a CD4 count above 600. The former National Coordinator, Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria said he has for years depended on daily intake of fruits, eating a balanced diet, living a positive lifestyle and doing regular exercise to stay healthy. LARA ADEJORO reports
Getting infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus can be life-changing. Most people feel devastated after testing positive for the virus. Some people like Dr. Patrick Matemilola, have however managed to live positively with the virus
When Matemilola was diagnosed with the virus in 1992, he felt surprised but noted that it wasn’t a complete shock to him.
As a medical practitioner, he took his diagnosis in stride and has been living a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life with the virus for almost thirty years.
The 68-year-old doctor got to know his HIV status after the blood he donated to save a patient who needed a blood transfusion at his private clinic was screened.
“I was an Army officer but I was involved in administrative work. I was in the headquarters and I was in charge of training in the Nigerian Army Medical Corps.
“So, I was called one evening that a patient needed blood transfusion at a private clinic and I donated my blood but they have to screen the blood. Hours later, I was called back that my blood tested positive for HIV.
“I went back and I confirmed it. I have been living with the virus since then and there has been no problem,” he told PUNCH HealthWise.
Matemilola was a former National Coordinator, Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria and has contributed immensely, to HIV mitigation interventions both nationally and internationally. He works currently as the Oyo State Manager with Defence Health Maintenance Limited.
He said telling others about his status has helped him live above stigmatisation.
“My friends know about my status, my family members know. My family took it very well and I didn’t have any problem with my children. They are aware of my condition and they are all HIV-negative and we have been living very well with the situation. I am happy that I have been able to contribute majorly to the response of HIV/AIDS in the country,” he said.
He said for the past thirty years, he has never taken antiretroviral drugs to subdue the HIV virus and he has been able to maintain a CD4 count above 600.