HIV affects 13.7% of all South Africans, or roughly 8.2 million people as of 2021. Almost a fifth (19%) of all South Africans between the ages of 15 and 49 live with HIV. It is an easily detectable and extremely treatable illness, and the majority of people who contract it are still able to live full and happy lives.
An HIV test only takes a few moments, and you will get your results back within 15 minutes. A professional Unjani Nurse will take a small blood sample by pricking your finger, and will use that to see if there are any HIV antigens in your blood or
healthy antibodies trying to fight the virus. The procedure is completely confidential and private, and you legally do not have to tell anyone your status
HIV can be contracted when you come into contact with other people’s bodily fluids, mainly through blood. If you have experienced the following, we urge you to get tested as soon as possible:
Even if you get a negative test result, you should still get tested regularly, because infection can happen at any time
Getting tested is not something to delay: the longer you avoid it, the weaker your immune system will be when you begin treatment, and the longer it will take for the medicine to work and for your health to return to normal.
HIV is treatable, but it is also transmissible, meaning that it can spread to other people easily if you aren’t being treated. Getting tested isn’t just the best thing for you and your health, but for those of your friends and loved ones too.
The sooner you know your status, the sooner you can start receiving effective treatment, and return to living a healthy and fulfilling life.
As HIV is a virus that attacks your immune system, the treatments for HIV are to make your immune system stronger. These are drugs called antiretrovirals (ARVs) and they come in pill form. Most commonly, people living with HIV have to take up to four pills every day. It is very important to take all your pills every day as your doctor prescribes them, because HIV mutates and can become resistant to medication.
Your doctor will regularly test your blood to measure how much HIV is in your blood; this is called the viral load. Once it can’t be measured anymore, doctors will say it has become undetectable. It takes roughly six months of taking ARVs to reach this stage.
All Unjani Clinics offer HIV counselling and testing. We also offer patients treatment and management plans for their ARVs.
Take control of your life and your health today by knowing your status.