Did you know…

…that approximately 30% of the population of the province I live in is HIV+?  That is 1 out of 3!  Yet people are still quite ignorant about HIV and how the virus works.  Two terms that ALL South Africans should know are CD4 count and viral load.  But when queried, only about 50% know what those terms mean.

Quick biology lesson

CD4 count – the number of T4 cells in a blood sample (T4 cells being your front line defense of your immune system)

viral load – the amount of HIV in a blood sample

So with those two easy definitions, we can deduce that the higher my CD4 count is and the lower my viral load is, the healthier I am!  :-)  One of our passions at SOH is to help people really understand HIV/Aids in order to be fully prepared to fight this epidemic.  Hence, we do lots of education, training, counselling, teaching, etc on these topics.

Thanks to one of our partner churches, Next Christian Community, in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada, we were able to purchase our very own CD4 analyser!  Now at SOH, we are able to do the HIV test and then if our client is HIV+, we can immediately offer them a CD4 count – to test the strength of their immune system.  Depending on the outcome of that test, we offer them advice as to whether they are ready for anti-retroviral therapy yet.  This machine allows for further counselling and a much more thorough service provision.  Previously, our clients would have to go to the government clinics to get their CD4 counts done – and wait for days to weeks for the results.

With our machine, the results take 20 minutes!

So grateful!  

And it is about the size of your toaster!  ;-)

The CD4 analyser in use








4 Responses to Did you know…
  1. Marian Reply

    Way to go SOH and Michelle! So glad you are there to make a difference for these dear people

    • Michelle Reply

      Thanks mom! Your love and support goes a long way!

  2. Janice M Reply

    So awesome you have the CD4 analyzer to make an even greater difference! I love the heart behind the work you guys do, keep being an inspiration!

    • Michelle Reply

      Thanks Janice! Sure would love to have you back at some point to see where we have come! You helped inspire us to where we are today!! :-)

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