Effective treatment of HIV can help you live a long, happy, and healthy life.

HIV is an infection that attacks the body’s immune system (ability to fight off disease).

HIV is spread from the body fluids of an infected person, including blood, breast milk, semen and vaginal fluids. It is not spread by kisses, hugs or sharing food. It can also spread from a mother to her baby.

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). AIDS is the most severe form of HIV and if HIV remains untreated it will progress to AIDS, which is fatal.

Access to modern treatment means HIV is no longer a death sentence.

Although there is no cure for HIV, it can be treated and managed through Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART). This therapy works towards reducing a patient’s viral load. When HIV is successfully managed, your viral load can decrease to such an extent that the virus becomes virtually undetectable in your blood.

An undetectable viral load means the virus cannot be sexually transmissible.

In general, the rule is: Undetectable = Untransmissible.

If you start ART before the virus has a chance to do serious damage to your immune system, your prognosis is even better. This is why it is crucial to get tested regularly, and to understand which risky behaviours you should avoid to protect yourself as well as others.

ART is a major breakthrough in the treatment and management of HIV, and greatly improves the life expectancy and quality of life of HIV positive people.

Recent studies show that there is no discernible difference in life expectancy between an HIV positive person receiving anti-retroviral medication and an HIV negative person. As long as you take your medication and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle, there is no reason for you not to life a full life.

This is why it is important to break the stigma surrounding HIV.

Because of it’s links to homosexuality and sexual transmission, many people have been slow to accept that HIV is now part of our medical landscape, and this drives the fight against this debilitating disease underground. This stigma leads to less people getting tested which in turn means that they do not receive the life saving care of ART.

There are different Anti-retroviral medications available on the market and by working with healthcare providers, HIV positive people can find a treatment regime that will be sustainable and successful in suppressing their virus.

Only by actively receiving Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) can you ensure that your HIV diagnosis will not worsen into AIDS. It is also the only way to ensure that your viral load remains low enough that you are not a risk to your sexual partner.

The deadliest thing about HIV is the Stigma.

IMPORTANT: Mothers who receive ART can also give birth to healthy children and will not transmit HIV to their newborns through breastfeeding.

Get tested, get treated.

A key part of the battle against HIV and AIDS is to know your status. Without knowing your status (whether you are HIV positive or HIV negative), you cannot make informed decisions about your health and the risks you might pose to others. Only once you accept responsibility for your own diagnosis can you take the necessary steps towards managing this disease through ART.

Effective management through ART will help you live a long and healthy life.

HIV does not have to be a shameful secret. For many people all over the world being HIV positive is simply a fact of life.

Thanks to the groundbreaking work of HIV and AIDS activists over the last 40 years, as well as advances in our understanding of this disease the HIV and AIDS landscape has changed dramatically. No longer do people need to accept their fates and allow this disease to wreck countless lives. By testing and getting the right treatment we can break the chokehold that this horrible disease has had on the world and free ourselves from the fear it created.

Mediplus takes our responsibility to our HIV positive members seriously.

ART is already widely available and accepted, and Mediplus supports our HIV positive members by granting them access to additional benefits through our Wellness Program. These benefits include access to ART through their chronic treatment plans and will assist them in their quest to actively fight the progression of this disease. Members can contact us to request these benefits or to get more information about or HIV positive specific benefits.

Important words to understand:

Undetectable viral load

Anti-retroviral therapy

CD4 cells (Helper T Cells)

Sources: (All Accessed 13/09/2023)