Tag

HIV

Infections
October 21, 2015

Why it’s so important to stick to your ARV treatment schedule

ARV treatment doesn’t cure you of HIV, it only helps to keep the infection under control so that you can stay healthy for as long as possible. If you do not take your ARVs as prescribed, you’re putting yourself in danger. Some of the risks include: 1. Your HIV infection may become resistant to the medication – this means that the treatment will no longer keep the infection under control because the virus finds ways to protect itself from the ARVs. Also, you’ll never be able to use that particular medication again – it will not work and please remember…
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Infections
August 23, 2015

HIV 101 – frequently asked questions

Q1: How do I know if I’ve been infected? There are no immediate symptoms and you may not experience any for years, which is why many people don’t get tested – they feel fine. Some people get flu-like symptoms such as fever, fatigue, sore throat, swollen glands, and muscle and joint pains - the problem is that it’s difficult to tell if it’s a general flu virus or if HIV is affecting your immune system. If you think you have been exposed to HIV, get tested! Q2: Where can I get tested for HIV? There are many different places where…
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Infections
August 1, 2015

My CD4 cell count – when should I worry?

Being HIV-positive can throw your entire world upside down, changing life as you know it. While many things change, with the right medicine and a healthy outlook, you can live a full life. Part of managing your health is to keep track of your body’s defense system - your CD4 Cell count. What are CD4 cells? Think of your body as a castle, the germs that try to invade your body as the enemy, and your white blood cells as your body’s army. The CD4 cells fight and destroy the enemy germs and keep your body healthy. When you’re infected…
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HIV / AIDS
December 1, 2014

Living positive with HIV

Antiretroviral medications (ARVs) have changed the lives of millions of people all over the world. Why is it so important? Because it’s the only medication that’s known to help manage the disease we call HIV/Aids. How Have ARVs Changed Life? Without treatment life expectancy of an HIV positive person was around 10 years and people experienced a poor quality of life with multiple infections and secondary diseases (like flu). But with the introduction of ARVs, along with a good diet and some lifestyle changes, life expectancy has pushed past the 20-30 year marker. While researchers are still hard at work…
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InfectionsMedication & Treatment
September 20, 2014

What is PrEP and PEP?

Ever heard of the acronyms PrEP and PEP? Both refer to HIV prevention; let’s have a look at what these terms mean. PrEP: This stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. Prophylaxis means to “prevent the spread of a disease or infection”. We’re desperately trying to curb the spread of HIV infection and PrEP is one of the newer methods being used - an HIV negative person will take a tablet (containing two types of antiretroviral medication) every day to prevent contracting HIV. This, together with other preventative methods such as condom use, can offer very good protection. So who would take PrEP?…
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Infections
July 21, 2014

Can we end AIDS by 2030?

Can the world have AIDS under control by 2030? The UN thinks it’s possible. The claim: According to the UN, new HIV infections and deaths from AIDS are decreasing, which means it could be possible to bring the epidemic under control by 2030, and eventually end it "in every region, in every country". What the claim is based on: The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS can be transmitted via blood, breast milk and by semen during sex, but can be kept in check with cocktails of drugs known as antiretroviral therapy. So, twin approaches – reduce the number…
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HIV / AIDS
July 14, 2014

Gay men should take PrEP, according to WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has suggested that gay men take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), as a way of protecting themselves against HIV. What Is PrEP? Pre-exposure prophylaxis is usually as a combination of two anti-retroviral drugs in a single pill, taken every day. It’s a way for people who are at high risk of HIV to help reduce their risk of contracting the virus. Why Should Gay Men Consider PrEP? The WHO’s suggestion that gay men should take anti-retroviral drugs, even if they're not infected, doesn’t just stop at gay men. The call’s been made for all high-risk groups, including…
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HIV / AIDS
January 23, 2014

What to eat if you are HIV positive

Good nutrition and a balanced diet is incredibly important for people with HIV, as they have a compromised immune system and are prone to illness and infection. They are also at higher risk for developing other diseases, and may experience common side effects such as fatigue. Certain foods can help people with HIV to feel better, and can boost their immune system so that they get sick less often and are able to fight off infection. For a lot of HIV positive people who take ARVs, the medication can make them feel ill and nauseous. If this happens to you,…
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Infections
January 21, 2014

Popular TV personality Lesego Motsepe passes away

Tributes and condolences have been pouring in, especially on social media sites, for Isidingo star Lesego Motsepe, who passed away in her home in Randburg on Monday. In a statement, Motsepe's family said she was found by her brother Moemise Motsepe at about 11am on Monday morning, and paramedics confirmed her death a few hours later. (more…)
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HIV / AIDS
December 3, 2013

I am HIV + and want to have a baby

Dealing with HIV can be difficult, and dealing with pregnancy can be difficult. But having the facts about how to get pregnant safely and to prevent your baby from becoming HIV positive may help you feel more confident in your decision about whether or not to have a child. It is vital to find a doctor who will support your choices around your pregnancy and your HIV, and can help you with the correct information. Questions to ask Are you on anti-ARV medications? If not, are you willing to go on them? They can decrease the risk of passing HIV…
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