HIV Facts and Statistics
HIV facts and statistics are important to know. Educating yourself around HIV can further support your journey of living with HIV. HIV facts and statistics keep us informed about what is happening in the world around us. Being informed enables education on issues that are relevant in our space, be it you, your family or your community. Cindy Pivacic shares some important HIV facts and statistics.
Here are some important HIV facts for you to know about:
- People with HIV today can live long, healthy lives.
- Early access to ARV treatment is beneficial in keeping viral loads low and immune systems strong.
- There are only three ways to get HIV:
- Unprotected sex (sex without a condom).
- Contact between your blood and infected blood or body fluids.
- Mother-to-child transmission.
Did you know this about HIV?
Did you know these facts about HIV?
- HIV is NOT the same as AIDS.
- You cannot know if your partner has HIV unless they have been tested.
- There is no vaccine to prevent HIV.
- HIV tests are reliable.
- There is NO cure for HIV.
HIV treatment facts
We share some HIV treatment facts:
- Dolutegravir or DTG is the most recommended HIV treatment drug as it has minimal side effects. It also can reduce the chances of people developing drug resistance. South Africa began its rollout of DTG in December 2019.
- Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is medication taken after coming into contact with HIV to lessen your chance of infection. You must start PEP within 72 hours (3 days) after exposure to HIV. Start sooner rather than later. It has little to no effect after the three days or more after exposure.
- PEP can lower your risk of HIV infection by 80% if you take it as prescribed by your healthcare worker.
Post-exposure prophylaxis information
If you are concerned you have been exposed to HIV, you will need to access Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). Your doctor, emergency medical provider, clinic or hospital can assist. You will need post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) if:
- You suspect you were exposed to HIV during intercourse.
- You have been assaulted.
- You have shared needles or other items with other drug users.
- You are a health care worker who may have been exposed to HIV during the course of your work.
It’s important to know more about HIV. We share these HIV statistics to help you learn more about HIV:
- The estimated overall HIV prevalence rate is approximately 13,7% among the South African population.
- The current population in South Africa is 61.93 Million making this prevalence rate a cause for concern.
- Globally there are 37.7 million people living with HIV. South Africa is a third of that infected population.
- The total number of people living with HIV (PLWHIV) was estimated to be 8,2 million in 2021.
- For adults aged 15–49 years, an estimated 19,5% of the population is HIV positive.
HIV treatment experience
In 2020, my health care worker advised me that I qualified for the new treatment, Dolutegravir. I am relieved that I had no side effects, not even weight gain or the expected insomnia. My experience obviously does not mean that side effects will not occur in others. My health care worker advised me to change my old night-time routine to a morning regimen. I set my alarms to go off twice in the morning at ten-minute intervals, helping me adjust to the new schedule after twelve years. Keeping to my new regimen was extremely important as I needed to take my ARV treatment strictly on a 24-hour cycle to maintain my viral load and CD4 levels.
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