Get screened in the comfort of your home! Chat with Vera our healthcare assistant on +254756551551 to book a home visit.



We all need a little sweetness in our lives don't we?Here are some fantastic health benefits of honey.

Benefits of Honey

1.Rich in antioxidants

Raw honey contains polyphenols which have anti-inflammatory effects which protect against conditions associated with oxidative stress.

2.Rich in nutrients

  • 21grams of honey
  • 64 calories
  • 17g of sugar

Trace amounts of:

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Zinc
    • Vitamin B2(Riboflavin)
    • B1(Niacin)
    • B5 Pantothenic acid
    • Amino acids
    • Enzymes

3.Antibacterial and anti-fungal properties

4.Wound Healing

Propolis and royal jelly have wound healing and microbial inhibition properties.

5.Phytonutrient powerhouse

Phytonutrients not only provide anti-cancer but also immune boosting properties.

6.Help improve digestive health.

May be used to prevent diarrhoea and also in the treatment of H. pylori

7.Soothes sore throat and cough due to its anti-inflammatory properties

8.Brain Health

Polyphenols counter inflammation in the hippocampus in addition to helping improve memory.

9.Pre-biotic properties

This will help in with the growth of gut microbiome enhancing the health of the gastro-intestinal tract.


Honey helps boost your metabolism which promotes weight loss.

11.Sounder Sleep

Insulin production leads to production of serotonin (a precursor to melatonin) which helps regulate sleep.

12.Relieve nervous tension

The sugar in honey is converted to glucose which feeds the nerve cells helping relieve nervous tension.

Have a Bee-utiful day


February is the month of love and food is a very essential love language for many couples. They say “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” but this also applies to women, this goes out to all the gentlemen in the house. Below are a list of foods that will help spice up your month of love.

Aphrodisiac foods

An aphrodisiac is a substance that increases sexual desire and during this month of love there are various foods that will help spice up your valentine day.

Oysters are a rich source of zinc which is important in testosterone production and sexual health.

Chocolate contains phenylethylamine which is a natural mood elevator that increases feelings of excitement and pleasure.

Chillis contain capsaicin which produces heat and boost endorphins (feel good hormones) in particular dopamine which is released in response to pleasure. It boosts bonding and libido.

Watermelons are a natural source of citrulline which is concerted to arginine which relaxes blood vessels leading to improved blood flow to the penis and therefore stronger erections.

Nuts contain zinc-arginine and omega-3 which play a role in boosting sexual function. Arginine is converted to nitric oxide which increases blood flow and therefore stronger erections.

  • Honey “Love drips like honey from the hive, constant, sweet, precious, into your heart each and every moment if you let it.” Amy leigh mercree

Honey contains boron which helps regulate oestrogen and testosterone. Honey also contains B-vitamins which are involved in testosterone production and also fructose which enhances stamina and provides a constant energy supply.


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Dr Zuri Love Nutrition

February is the month of love and food is a very essential love language for many couples. They say “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” but this also applies to women, this goes out to all the gentlemen in the house. Below are a list of foods that will help spice up your month of love.

Aphrodisiac foods

An aphrodisiac is a substance that increases sexual desire and during this month of love, there are various foods that will help spice up your valentine's day.

Oysters are a rich source of zinc which is important in testosterone production and sexual health.

Chocolate contains phenylethylamine which is a natural mood elevator that increases feelings of excitement and pleasure.


Chillis contain capsaicin which produces heat and boosts endorphins (feel-good hormones) in particular dopamine which is released in response to pleasure. It boosts bonding and libido.

Watermelons are a natural source of citrulline which is converted to arginine which relaxes blood vessels leading to improved blood flow to the penis and therefore stronger erections.

Nuts contain zinc-arginine and omega-3 which play a role in boosting sexual function. Arginine is converted to nitric oxide which increases blood flow and therefore stronger erections.

Honey Love drips like honey from the hive, constant, sweet, precious, into your heart each and every moment if you let it.Amy Leigh mercree

Honey contains boron which helps regulate estrogen and testosterone. Honey also contains B vitamins which are involved in testosterone production and also fructose which enhances stamina and provides a constant energy supply.


How to Prevent Cervical Cancer

Photo from Unsplash

The way to prevent cervical cancer or at least reduce your risk is to regularly screen for disease and boost your immunity against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV is the virus that causes cervical cancer. 

To prevent cervical cancer, you want to stop HPV from developing in your body entirely. In this article, we will discuss how you can do that.

Screening Tests

Pap smear 

The pap smear is a procedure that is usually done during a pelvic exam. The doctor uses a spatula to scrape off cells from the cervix. This sample of cells will be tested in the laboratory to let you know if your cervical cells are normal or in danger of transforming into cancerous cells.

HPV test

The HPV test will need a pap smear sample, but the difference is that while the pap smear tests for the shape and the nature of your cervical cells, the HPV test tests for the presence of strains of the virus in your cervix.

Visual inspection with acetic acid

In this screening test, acetic acid is introduced into the cervix. This chemical helps the doctor or other medical practitioner see derangements in your cervix. The chemical makes these abnormalities turn white as they come in contact with it. This procedure is typically done in areas with low access to healthcare.

HPV Vaccination

HPV vaccination defends the body against future HPV infections by producing antibodies that bind to HPV and prevent it from causing harm to the body upon infection. WHO recommends that women start taking the vaccine as early as 9 years old. The idea is that children and teenagers benefit more from taking the vaccine than young adults. As such, adults 26 years and older should speak to their doctors to determine if they will still need to take the vaccine, depending on their level of risk. 

Other Things You Can Do To Reduce Your Risk

Stay faithful to one sexual partner or remain abstinent

You want to avoid getting infected with HPV as much as possible. That means you have to avoid any situation that can make you come in contact with it. If you are sexually active, you should make sure you and your partner are free of the disease and remain faithful to one another. Sleeping with multiple people increases your risk of coming in contact with HPV exponentially. An alternative is to abstain from sex altogether.  

Don’t smoke

Women who smoke or have smoked in the past are more likely to develop invasive cervical cancer. Smoking contributes to cervical cell changes that can eventually lead to the development of cervical cancer. It also lowers your immunity and damages your body in other ways that make it more vulnerable to infection. 

In all this, you want to speak to a doctor who can advise you about the risk factors and give you more information about how to reduce your risk and remain healthy and happy for longer. Text Vera with the numbers below and she will connect you to a doctor who can help you right away. 

  • +234913000688 for Nigeria 
  • +260969400000 for Zambia
  • +233551600333 for Ghana
  • +254756551551 for Kenya

How to Prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Photo by Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition on Unsplash

As the name implies, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are diseases that are gotten and shared through sexual intercourse. WHO  states that 1 million sexually transmitted diseases are gotten worldwide every day. This shows that despite the advances in the medical and technological fields, STDs still weigh heavily on the disease burden of the world.

Types of STDs

There are over 20 types of STDs. Some diseases can be transmitted sexually but are not classified as sexual diseases because there could be other significant ways of getting them besides having sex. STDs can be classified simply according to the causative agent of the specific condition. 

These include:


Bacterial STDs are caused by bacteria. Some of them include gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia.


Examples of viral STDs include Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), and Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV).


STDs caused by parasites include trichomoniasis.

Other parasitic and viral diseases can be acquired through sex, but most of them are more likely to be gotten from non-sexual contact and so cannot be classified as STDs.

Prevention of STDs

Don't Have Sex

The only 100% sure method of preventing sexually transmitted diseases is not to have sex at all. 

Take Available Vaccines.

Vaccines are available for HPV, HSV, and other diseases that can be sexually transmitted like hepatitis A and B. If possible, the HPV vaccines can be taken before sexual exposure ever occurs - as early as 9 to 12 years of age. If that is not possible, they are still effective especially when taken before the age of 26. The American Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that after the age of 26, more people are likely to have been exposed to HPV, and as such, the vaccine might be less effective. Please speak to a doctor to confirm if this will be the case for you. 

Avoid Having More Than One Sexual Partner.

The chances of getting an STD are significantly higher if you sleep with multiple people. Consider having only one sexual partner who is faithful to you. Make sure your partner is also tested for STDs and free from them. This is especially important as some STDs can be asymptomatic. 

Make Sure New Sexual Partners are Tested and Uninfected.

If you have to change sexual partners, ensure they get tested first. Using a condom might help, but still poses a lot of risks. A good example is in cases of genital warts. Skin-to-skin contact with the genitals is enough to transmit genital warts, without penetration. It is just safer to get your new sexual partner tested. 

At Zuri Health, we can help you and your partner screen for sexually transmitted diseases. All you have to do to start is text Vera on Whatsapp. The numbers to use are:

  • +234913000688 for Nigeria 
  • +260969400000 for Zambia
  • +233551600333 for Ghana
  • +254756551551 for Kenya

Health and Fitness Myths to Leave in 2022

Source: Unsplash

The year 2022 has ended and many people have considered resolutions for the new year. Exercising more, eating healthier, and losing weight are people's most common resolutions every year. A Swiss study shows that 70% of all resolutions concern physical health. That's a significant percentage!

As you make your new year's resolutions, it is crucial to make plans to achieve your goals with accurate medical information. On this note, here are five health and wellness myths many of us have believed for a long time and the objective medical science behind them.

MSG is Bad

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a food additive that makes food taste better. It is commonly found in bouillon cubes, canned vegetables, and other processed foods. It gets a bad rep as there have been claims that it has short-term adverse reactions such as headaches, nausea, weakness, and sweating. Research has been conducted on these claims, and as of today, several international agencies, including the United States Food and Drug Administration, have declared MSG to be a safe ingredient. As long as you remain within the daily recommended allowance of 30mg/kg of body weight, you can use your Maggi, Knorr, or Royco cubes without fear.

Smoking "Shisha" is Better than Smoking Cigarettes 

Hookah smoking, or "shisha" as it is popularly known, is just as harmful as smoking cigarettes. Shisha smokers are exposed to more smoke, and more toxins than cigarette smokers are. They are also exposed to more chemicals, such as carbon monoxide, tar, and other chemicals that can cause cancer. Like cigarette smokers, shisha smokers are at risk of lung cancer, heart disease, and cancer of the bladder and the mouth.

Therapy is only for People with Mental Illnesses

Therapy is not restricted to people who have mental health issues. Everyone can benefit from therapy. It provides a good platform to learn a life coping skill or skills to help you improve the quality of your relationships. You can become happier, more productive, and less stressed with therapy. You don't need to have a mental health diagnosis before enjoying these benefits. 

You can Lose Belly Fat with Crunches Only

It is impossible to lose belly fat alone. Fat loss occurs across the entire body. You cannot target one body part for fat loss. It's not going to happen.

If you want to lose weight, reduce your food portions,  eat more fruits and vegetables, and do more cardio exercises.

Eggs are Bad for Your Heart

Eggs are a premium source of protein and a good number of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, B, and D. It has been widely believed that eggs contribute to a high risk of heart disease. Egg yolks contain cholesterol, and low-density cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease. The studies that have been done concerning this remain contradictory. But, it is worth noting that eating eggs alone will not increase your risk of heart disease. What else do you eat? Is the rest of your diet high in saturated and trans fat? Do you exercise regularly? These are other essential factors to consider before cutting eggs out of your diet altogether.

Cross-check any medical information you get from the internet or other unverified sources with your healthcare provider. You can chat with a doctor on WhatsApp using Vera at +233 55 160 0333 in Ghana, +234 913 000 6888 in Nigeria, +260 96 9400000 in Zambia, and +254 756 551551 in Kenya. 

All of us at Zuri Health wish you a Happy New Year! 

Why You Should Become a Blood Donor

Every country in western, eastern, and central sub-Saharan Africa has a profound lack of blood to meet their demand for it, with the gap being more significant in lower and middle-income countries and regions. Can you imagine that every 2 seconds, one American needs blood !

The world is in dire need of blood, and you might just be the person to help save it.

Why is this Blood Shortage Important?

Blood cannot be created out of the body. It also cannot be stored indefinitely. It has a short shelf life. Therefore, the only way to get blood to the people who need it is to get it from lifesaving donors worldwide-the real heroes.Unfortunately, only about 3% of eligible people donate blood every year.

Who Needs Blood?

Several conditions could cause a person to need blood. Such patients are not rare cases but are multiplied countless times all over the continent, creating the demand for blood and blood products. Some of the people who need blood are:

  • People living with cancer and undergoing chemotherapy
  • People living with blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia
  • People undergoing organ transplants
  • People undergoing orthopedic surgeries
  • People undergoing surgeries on the heart and cardiovascular system
  • People undergoing dialysis
  • People who have suffered a traumatic accident and have lost a lot of blood

Who can Donate blood?

There are global eligibility criteria for blood donors and more specific ones in some countries. As a general rule of thumb, you should follow the following requirements if you want to donate your blood:

  • You must be between the ages of 18 and 65.
  • You must be healthy. You cannot have any cold, sore throat, flu, or anything else.
  • You must weigh at least 50kg.
  • You must meet the minimum haemoglobin level for blood donation. A test is usually conducted to determine this at the blood donation site.
  • It is generally advised to eat before your appointment to keep your blood sugar levels stable.

You can read more details about these criteria on the WHO website.,that%20appropriate%20consent%20is%20obtained.

What Is In It For Me?

Becoming a regular blood donor has some health benefits for you!

  • Your bone marrow is stimulated to produce more blood.
  • You can lose up to 650 calories by donating a pint of blood.
  • It reduces the risk of excess iron storage in the body leading to the prevention of hemochromatosis.
  • You have a lower risk of heart diseases

Is it Safe for me to Donate Blood?

It is perfectly safe for you to donate blood. You have nothing to worry about. You will most likely feel the prick of the needle inserted to take the blood out. Other than that, you should be as fit as a fiddle afterwards.Some people experience temporary side effects such as weakness, nausea, dizziness, etc. However, these can be typically avoided by eating and resting adequately before your appointment.

How Long Does the Process Take?

The process of taking out one pint of blood from your body takes about eight to ten minutes. The entire time you spend at the donation site could take up to an hour, depending on how many other donors are there.

How do I Donate Blood?

Reach out to your local hospital or blood bank and set an appointment. They will guide you on everything you have to do and how to set an appointment.

Become a Hero Today!

You can save three lives by donating one pint of blood. If you haven't donated blood before, this New Year is as good a time as ever to start.

Zuri Health’s Healthy Holiday Guide


It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Everyone plans to get together with family and friends and have a lot of fun. It could seem like there is so much to do! You have to plan for gifts, activities, food and hosting family and friends. With all this, it can seem like any free time you have should be devoted to eating and lounging in an armchair.

I am here with a gentle whisper in your ear to remind you that a healthy holiday season is not impossible. Your physical and mental health don't have to suffer because the holidays are coming. Here are some tips to stay healthy during the festivities.

Healthy Eating Guide

Food is a big part of holiday culture all over the world. We consume the most calories per day in festive seasons. Whereas a person's caloric requirement and typical daily intake per day are between 2000 to 2500 calories, one full day of Christmas day eating can be up to 4500 calories!

  • Maintain your regular eating schedule. It would be best if you didn't skip meals to "save space for later". It may just end up being counter-productive as you might end up eating more than you planned to. This also means you shouldn't be having snacks throughout the day just because there's food around or you can see. If it helps, you can give out some food to neighbours so that you don't have food and desserts hanging around.
  • Control your portions and include fruits and vegetables in your meals. Try not to overindulge in all the buffet meals and desserts. You can have your best cake or cookies, but you don't need to have all the treats. When plating your food, try to fill half of your plate with vegetables, a quarter with carbohydrates, and the remaining quarter with proteins. That will make for a more healthy meal.
  • Watch your drinks! It is almost a sure bet that sugary drinks and alcohol will be plenty during this season. However, limit your intake of these drinks and instead ensure that you drink about 6-8 glasses of water daily to stay well hydrated.
  • Keep moving. It might not be feasible to keep up with your rigorous exercise routine while you're busy playing with your nephews and nieces and laughing at the jokes your mother tells. But you can get up and move. It might be as simple as taking a morning walk or organising family bonding activities that require physical movement, like swimming, hiking, cycling in trail parks or taking walks along the beach. Your body will thank you!

Mental Health Guide

Believe it or not, people commonly feel fatigued, stressed, irritable, and sad during the holiday season. In fact, up to 88% of Americans in a 2018 study felt stressed about celebrating the holidays.

Trying to care for children or aged parents and other extended family members can be overwhelming. You want to ensure everybody is comfortable, fed, and happy with their gifts. This can, however, have an incredible toll on the people responsible for all this.

The holidays are a time for fun and relaxation. Even if you are responsible for other people, you should be able to enjoy the holiday as well.

  • Differentiate your real needs from the false ones.
    Be truthful to yourself and determine which things on your to-do list your family really needs and which ones you've imposed on yourself. Do you absolutely need to perfect this online chicken recipe by Christmas morning or will a traditional, familiar recipe be just as hearty and delicious?
  • Delegate as much as you can. When you figure out which tasks your family really needs, see if you can share some of those tasks to other members of your family. Maybe your brother can help you shop for the food items you'll cook on Christmas morning while you shop for the gifts.
  • Be comfortable saying no You cannot satisfy everybody, no matter how hard you try. If someone asks you for something that is truly out of your depth, be comfortable enough to tell them no. Your favorite nephew wants an iPhone? You can't afford it, politely tell him no.
  • Practice mindfulness Be mindful of the things you're grateful for, do breathing exercises, journal and take long, silent walks in nature. Amidst all the chaos, try to remain calm.

Avoiding Illness

In many parts of West Africa, December comes with colder, dryer, and dustier weather. This also makes December notorious for the flu, common cold, and other respiratory infections. Simple ways to avoid getting sick yourself or infecting others include the following:

  • Eat fruits and vegetables often or use vitamin supplements.
  • Drink water more often.
  • Wash your hands more frequently for up to 20 seconds per time with soap and water.
  • Have a hand sanitizer in case you can't access soap and water.
  • Wear clothing that will protect you from the elements.
  • Cover your chest especially to protect yourself from cold related infections.
  • Use menthol creams if the cold becomes unbearable.
  • Moisturize your skin properly with a rich cream or moisturizer and an oil or body butter to prevent skin dryness.
  • Get your flu vaccine if you haven't gotten it this year.
  • If you're already sick, stay at home to rest and allow yourself to recover, avoid visiting people and attending events to prevent infecting others.

Enjoy yourself and reconnect with family ,and as you do so, remember to stay healthy while at it.

You can contact us to talk to a doctor and get tests done and drug prescriptions if need be. Text Vera on +254756551551 for Kenya and +2349130006888 for Nigeria to start now.

You Can Be Vaccinated Against the Flu

Source: Pexels

The flu is a preventable disease. This might sound new to you, but it is true. You don't have to suffer the flu every year. Also known as influenza in medical circles, we all know it is a disease that affects all age groups and social classes.Everyone gets the flu. That's just how it is. It is a virus that affects the nose, throat, and lungs. Most people can tell when they have the flu because it presents with familiar symptoms such as fever, cough, chills and sweats, headache, catarrh, and sore throat. Many people who get the flu can get better on their own. But preventing the disease in the first place is a better idea.

The influenza vaccine is a substance that is taken into the body to prevent or reduce the severity of the influenza disease.The vaccine reduces the chances of a person getting influenza by up to 50%. In cases where the disease is not prevented, it can significantly reduce the severity of the disease.

Do I need to get the Influenza Vaccine?

About 200,000 people in the United States have to go to the hospital for the flu every year. However, some people are more at risk of getting it than others.While everyone should get the vaccine to prevent illness or reduce how often they get sick, these groups should be especially religious about their Influenza vaccination. These people include:

  • Children, especially younger than two years of age
  • Pregnant women
  • Adults older than 50 years
  • People with weakened immune systems. For instance, people living with HIV/AIDS, lupus, type 1 diabetes etc
  • People living with long-term diseases. For example, people living with hypertension, asthma, etc.

But the Flu is not that Serious

Think back to the last time you had the flu. How you had to sniffle and hold a box of tissues everywhere you went. How you tried to hold your cough in because you thought you had coughed too many times in a public place like a bank or at church.Some of you might have had a fever of chills that kept you out of work or school for a day or two.

A little cough and catarrh may not seem like much. But it can negatively affect how well you live your life, and sometimes it can lead to more severe complications. Some of these complications include:

  • Ear infection
  • Sinus infection
  • Bronchitis
  • Stroke
  • Pneumonia Myocarditis Encephalitis
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Myositis
    Kidney failure
  • Heart failure

Is it Safe to Get the Influenza Vaccine?

It is extremely unlikely that you will experience severe side effects after getting the influenza vaccine. It is normal to feel some pain and a slight fever after taking the vaccine. It is the immune system's normal reaction to the vaccine's entry into the body. After a day or two, you should be fine.

How often should I get the Influenza Vaccine?

The United States Centre for Disease Control recommends that children aged six months and above should get the vaccine and continue to get it every year.It would be best if you took the influenza vaccine annually. Vaccine manufacturers continually improve the formula for the vaccine to keep up with emerging strains and mutations. Keeping up with your vaccination helps you stay immune to new strains that could cause an outbreak.

How else can I limit my exposure to this virus?

You get influenza by coming in contact with the virus. It is very contagious. The virus travels through droplets in the air. When infected people talk, sneeze or cough, they release the virus into the air. These droplets can also rest on surfaces like desks. On touching the objects, you can pick up the virus and transfer it to your nose, mouth or ears.

Even though it seems like influenza is everywhere and is too easy to catch, there are some things you can do to help prevent it, along with taking the vaccine.

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water
  • Use a hand sanitiser that is based on at least 60% alcohol when soap and water aren't available
  • Avoid being in close contact with sick people
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are commonly touched, such as door handles
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a handkerchief
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get good quality and quantity of sleep

Taking steps to prevent a disease is always better than seeking a cure. The influenza vaccine has been created as part of an effort to avoid illness and to create a healthy global community. Please take full advantage of it so you can live a healthier, fuller life.

Are you already feeling sick? Take charge of your health today by consulting a doctor virtually with Zuri Health. Text Vera on WhatsApp at +254756551551 for Kenya and +2349130006888 for Nigeria.

World Aids Day

The Problem of Living with AIDS 

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has an interesting history from the 1950s to the present day.

Once called "the gay plague" or the Gay Related Immune Disease (GRID), it was regarded as a disease mainly affecting homosexual men. Even when it was discovered that women could contact it through sexual relations, it was still regarded as the "gay disease" for many years. The term AIDS was first used by the CDC in 1982. 

What is AIDS? 

AIDS is the end stage of the viral disease HIV. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks a person's immune system, making it susceptible to diseases it should ordinarily be able to fight against. People with HIV start with non-specific symptoms such as sore throat, fever, and fatigue. Then, they enter a chronic stage where the disease is latent and present but showing no symptoms. The final stage of HIV is AIDS.


At this stage, the immune system is severely weakened, and the affected person shows symptoms such as:

  • Unintended and fast weight loss 
  • Chronic diarrhea 
  • Pneumonia 


Diagnosing HIV early enough and starting treatment with antiretroviral drugs can help a person living with it to live a full, healthy life without ever developing AIDS. 

How HIV/AIDS is Spread

HIV/AIDS is spread by body fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal discharge, and breast milk. Therefore, the most common methods of contracting HIV/AIDS are:


A person can transfer HIV/AIDS to another person by sleeping with them. The transfer of bodily fluids from one person's body into another carries the virus into the other person's body. Even when penetrative sex is avoided, small sores in the mouth or genital area are enough entry points for the virus to pass through.

Mother-to-Child Transmission

A mother with HIV/AIDS can pass it on to her child during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding. If a mother is diagnosed and is taking antiretroviral drugs, this can be avoided. 

Sharing Needles/Using Unsterilised Needles 

Needles come in contact with a person's bloodstream. They are supposed to be discarded after a single use. Sharing needles or using unsterilized needles puts a person at risk of HIV/AIDS or other diseases. 

How AIDS is Not Spread 

AIDS is not spread by regular interactions with an infected person, such as:

  • Hugging
  • Sitting close to the person
  • Shaking hands
  • Sharing cutlery
  • Dancing
  • Sharing toilets 
  • Sharing plates 
  • Any form of contact or touch that doesn't involve body fluids

Other ways AIDS cannot be spread include:

  • Mosquitoes and other insects
  • Through the air
  • Through saliva, tears, or sweat. 

The stigma of people living with AIDS

Famous American actor Charlie Sheen hid his HIV status from the public for four years while paying millions of dollars to people threatening to expose his secret if he didn't pay them off. 

The assumption is that he paid the blackmailers for so long because he was aware of the negative attitudes that people have towards people living with HIV/AIDS and did not want to be a victim of that. He has since come out to tell the world of his status, saying he feels like he's "carrying the torch" for others living with HIV. 


Effects of Stigma 

People living with HIV/AIDS often anticipate negative treatment by people around them, much like Charlie Sheen did. This, coupled with the adverse treatment they receive when people discover their HIV status, has terrible medical and social effects on them.  

Medical Effects of Stigma

Delay in Seeking Healthcare 

Anticipating and later internalizing the negative beliefs and attitudes people have about people living with HIV/AIDS can cause people to put off going to the hospital to get tested and receive a diagnosis. Sometimes the attitude of health workers who are not adequately educated about HIV/AIDS makes this situation worse. 

Poor Mental Health 

Stigma against people living with AIDS can cause them to develop poor beliefs about themselves. They can develop low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and poor drug adherence. 

Social Effects of Stigma 


People living with HIV/AIDS can have complicated relationships. They can be ostracised by people they were once close to and sometimes suffer violence. Navigating romantic relationships is also difficult because of the myths associated with the disease. 


Increased costs of healthcare and more frequent trips to the hospital can put a strain on a person's employment and financial security. They could also face taunts from colleagues and employees, leading to an impaired workplace experience. 

Protecting Yourself and Others 

Protecting yourself and others from contracting HIV/AIDS is possible by following these simple guidelines. 

  1. Do not have sex without a condom. 
  2. Do not have sex with multiple people. 
  3. Insist on using new, sterilized needles for injections or other procedures you need to get done in a hospital. 
  4. An HIV test should be part of the routine tests on pregnant women. 


Stopping HIV Stigma

We can join forces to stop HIV/AIDS stigma by:

Talk openly about HIV/AIDS 

HIV/AIDS is not a taboo topic. It is a disease that affects and has claimed the lives of millions of people. Talking openly about it and educating yourself and others is an excellent way to dispel myths people have about the disease and people who have it and foster better attitudes towards people living with HIV.

Stand up against discrimination 

When you see someone being discriminated against because of their HIV status, please stand up for them when you can and correct the wrong behavior. Apart from the immediate relief your help will bring them, you will be sending a message to other people that such behavior is inappropriate. You can do this by speaking up when someone says something harmful or reporting to the appropriate authorities where necessary.


People living with HIV/AIDS are people too. People are loved, appreciated, and cared for like everyone else. We should encourage and support them, not cast them aside.


It is important for you to know your HIV status, especially if you are sexually active, pregnant, or doing more things that could increase your chances of getting it. If you have HIV, seeking treatment early will save your life. 

You can consult a doctor virtually and get a HIV test done in the comfort of your home with Zuri Health. Just text Vera on +234 913 000 6888 if you're in Nigeria or +254 756 551551 if you're in Kenya. Your consultation and test results will remain confidential. 

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