HIV, what now?

You have just been told that you have HIV. Or your friend, sister or colleague has confided in you. Read more about HIV, living with HIV and the treatment.

Coming to terms with HIV

Everyone reacts in their own way to their HIV-diagnosis. Some people a hit hard by it; for others, it takes a while to sink in. Who you hear it from can make a difference; someone you know and trust, such as your general practitioner, or someone you don’t know.

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Should you tell people?

To be clear, you are not obliged to tell anyone that you have HIV. That includes people at your school, the crèche or your work; or your general practitioner, sex partner, specialist or medical officer. Of course, it may be good to tell your doctor because any symptoms you end up getting might be HIV-related.

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What is HIV?

HIV is a virus that weakens immune systems in people. HIV is short for human immunodeficiency virus. Immunodeficiency means an impairment of the immune system.  

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What is AIDS?

AIDS is a condition which renders the immune system inadequate, allowing diseases to develop. Aids is an abbreviation of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome .

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Starting HIV treatment

The advice is to start medication immediately after the HIV diagnosis. Starting medication soon after the diagnosis has long-term health benefits. The virus then has less chance of spreading and hiding away in various places in the body. This reduces the risk of complications and physical symptoms.

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Cure for HIV

HIV is not yet curable, there is no cure for HIV. Research is currently being done into it, but this research is still in the early stages. If a way is found to cure people of HIV, it will still be a long time before the cure is available. Optimistic researchers think there could be a cure within 10 to 15 years.

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Transmission of HIV

Would you like to know what your chances are of contracting HIV? And what about your basic knowledge of HIV and the risk of transmission?

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Informing sex partners

Once you've received your HIV diagnosis, the doctor or nurse will talk to you about informing your partner or partners. This is because you might have contracted HIV from someone who is unaware of their HIV status.

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HIV testing

Have you had risky sex? Have you had unprotected sex, or did the condom rip or slip off? Used someone else's equipment to administer drugs? Or do you have symptoms that could indicate HIV? Go for an HIV test.

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