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How to stay negative when at risk of becoming HIV+.
How to take the relevant precautions and prevent transmission against the HIV virus.
There are drugs available and new innovations like an implant, as well as tips that go a long way to reducing the risk of spreading HIV.
Drugs available for high-risk HIV negative people
This is even the case with HIV- people who take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). ‘Prophylaxis’ means ‘to prevent or control the spread of an infection or disease’ and these drugs are now available to people who are in substantially high-risk groups for contracting HIV. In South Africa, these groups include “adolescent girls and young women, sex workers, men who have sex with men, discordant couples and truckers,” (South African Medical Journal).
Aids website www.aids.gov also acknowledged these likely candidates for PrEP — “anyone who:
- Is it an ongoing relationship with an HIV-infected partner;
- Is not in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who recently tested HIV-;
- Is a gay or bisexual man who has had sex without a condom or been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection within the past six months;
- Is a heterosexual man or woman who does not regularly use condoms when having sex with partners known to be at risk for HIV (e.g. injecting drug users or bisexual male partners of unknown HIV status); or
- Has, within the past six months, injected illicit drugs and shared equipment or been in a treatment program for injection drug use.”
The panacea to non-adherence
Scientists from Oak Crest Institute of Science in California have announced the development of an implant that could solve the problems of adherence. The device is similar to a contraceptive implant in that it will deliver a controlled, sustained release of ARV drugs over a period of time. The Oak Crest scientists expect the invention to revolutionise the way HIV is treated and prevented as it will eliminate one of the main difficulties — complying with the proper dosage programmes.
Although the implant solution is in the early stages of development the forecast for a drastic improvement in the treatment of HIV is surely on the horizon.
Understand more about HIV and how to live a happy, healthy life with a positive status.
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The same old answers still solve common problems
Regardless of the drugs that may be available and the new innovations like the implant above, these tips from the Mayo Clinic and Aids.gov go a long way to reducing the risk of spreading HIV:
- Tell your sexual partners if you have HIV.
- Use a new condom every time you have sex.
- If you use a needle to inject drugs, make sure it’s sterile and don’t share it.
- Protect cuts, open sores, and your eyes and mouth from contact with blood.
- If you are HIV+ and pregnant, talk with your health care provider about taking ARVs.
- If you are an HIV+ woman, don’t breastfeed.
- Investigate drugs used to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted HIV infection for those at high risk. Such drugs are only appropriate if you don’t already have an HIV infection.
- Consider the evidence that male circumcision can help reduce a man’s risk of acquiring HIV.
We all have questions.
Below are some of the answers to the most common questions that you need to know.
What is usually the first sign of HIV?
After getting infected with HIV, most patients only experience moderate flu-like symptoms. Typically, the illness is sudden in onset and is characterised by fever, swelling of the lymph glands, a measles-like rash all over the body and ulcers in the mouth and sometimes on the genitalia.
What are the 4 stages of HIV?
- Stage 1: Infection – Exposure to infected bodily fluids.
- Stage 2: Asymptomatic – HIV quickly spreads and the patient becomes seropositive for HIV antibodies.
- Stage 3: Symptomatic – The immune system is now engaged in a constant battle with the rapidly replicating virus.
- Stage 4: AIDS – At this stage, the patient’s CD4+ count is 200 cells per mm3 or less.
How soon can HIV be detected by a blood test?
No test can detect HIV immediately after infection. The time between initial infection and a detectable viral load is called the window period. It can take anywhere from 2-12 weeks to after exposure detect whether you are HIV-positive or not, depending on which testing method is used.
How long does it take to show symptoms of HIV?
Following initial infection, there is a period of intense, unchecked viral replication that occurs. It usually takes two to four weeks after infection and can last about one to two weeks, after which there tends to be a slight recovery, and the infected individual is considered to be seropositive for HIV antibodies.
How is HIV transmitted?
HIV is transmitted from one person to another through the exchange of body fluids. The main method of transmission in South Africa is through unprotected sexual activity.
Does HIV test affect life insurance?
Being HIV-positive can affect standard life insurance policies, particularly if your status changes from HIV-negative to HIV-positive within a particular age range. That’s why AllLife covers all lives. Your HIV status doesn’t prevent you from getting cover with us.
Can HIV-positive women have children?
Yes, HIV-positive women can enjoy healthy pregnancies and give birth to healthy HIV-negative babies. Through the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) programme has been highly effective in reducing transmission risk to under 1%.
Up to R10 million Life Cover for people living with HIV.
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What will I be covered for?
In a few simple steps, you could be covered for comprehensive Life Cover and HIV Disability Cover (optional). We believe in providing you with Life Insurance to suit your needs so we will find a solution for you.
You get more than a life policy, you get a team to help you stay healthy.
What happens after I‘m covered?
After you’re covered you can enjoy the benefit of our Health Control Programme where we remind and assist you when it comes to regular tests and checkups, ensuring that you live a healthy and happy life.
Remember, life cover gets more expensive as you get older, so your premium will never be lower than it is today.