New HIV diagnosis
Testing positive for HIV often leaves a person overwhelmed with questions and concerns. The first step after testing positive is to see a health care provider, even if you don’t feel sick. If you have a new HIV diagnosis you will need to talk to a doctor straight away to start getting HIV treatment. HIV medicines can’t cure HIV, but they help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives and reduce the risk of HIV transmission.
Statistics for year ending 2016
- 7 Million People in South Africa are living with HIV
- 270,000 New Infections
- 140,000 Aids Related Deaths
- 22,000 Babies Born With HIV (Could this have been prevented?)
- Highest Risk Group: 18 to 24 Year Olds
HIV Myths. What is safe?
- Touching, Hugging, Physical Contact
- Sharing Toilets and Bathrooms
- Sharing Cutlery, Beds, Clothing and Socialising
- Coughing & Sneezing
How is HIV transmitted?
- Unprotected Sex
- Sharing Needles (Drug Users) (Contaminated Needles)
- Mother to Child Transmission, From Birth of an HIV positive Mother or Breast Milk
- Contaminated Blood Transfusion
HIV DOES NOT SURVIVE OUTSIDE OF THE BODY
What about prevention?
- Abstinence. There is no Rush.
- Use condoms. Male or Female its your body your decision.
- PreP. Pre-exposure Prophylactic
- PeP. Post-exposure Prophylactic (Medication taken within 72 hours of possible exposure that can greatly effect your chances for a negative HIV result). After 72 hours this option is not available.
- No shared breast feeding for babies
What about treatment?
- ARV. Anti Retro Viral. Medication is free in South Africa
- PreP. Pre Exposure Prophylactic. This is medication you can take which has a very high success rate in preventing HIV infection. However, these are ARV medications and can have side effects. It’s a popular choice amongst key populations and will reduce any chance of transmission of the HIV virus.
- PeP. Post Exposure Prophylactic ( Please see above. Only a 72 hour window is considered for this emergency treatment) If you are a victim of Rape or sexual assault and have this window of opportunity please contact us as soon as possible and we can help find a treatment option in your area. If you want to speak to a woman please contact Kholeka Jax or Fafa Moore from our contact page.
- There is no cure yet! Don’t be fooled by traditional healers and anyone offering a cure. There is no cure and anyone that tells you something different is being dishonest. Don’t gamble with your life.
STIGMA MUST FALL
It’s important to remember that HIV is a manageable disease that can be treated with HIV medicines.
Psychologically a new HIV diagnosis can be shattering but there are measures you can take to overcome these feelings and stigma and get back to focusing on living your best life. You are not alone.
Talk to Other HIV-Positive People
It helps to get advice from a person who has personal experience. Reach out to someone in your life who you know is HIV-positive. If nobody comes to mind contact us at Effective Treatment Africa and we will always talk to you.
Check your Facts
Prepare yourself with some of the facts and figures about the state of HIV treatment & put your mind at ease. By understanding the facts & by talking to qualified and informed professional or organisation and being open and honest with your those supporters you have a greater chance of living a healthy HIV journey.
Start with the person you’re closest with, someone who supports you no matter what. After you’ve told the people in your inner circle, you can decide how to approach the rest of the world. Every time you say “HIV” out loud, it will get easier and easier.
It’s more than likely that your family and friends won’t know the most up-to-date information about HIV, and they may have stigmatising beliefs about HIV-positive people. They may initially mistake your new HIV status as a terminal one, rather than the manageable chronic condition it is. Give them time to learn and process the information. Be patient. In a month or two, you will be discussing your lab results and your T-cells in the same way you talk about your job and your love life.
Discussing HIV with someone who you care about is never easy. Then again, nothing worthwhile ever is.
Be brave and believe that you’re worthy of love and support—because you are.