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What if you test HIV positive?
Learning that you are HIV positive can change your life,
but there is a lot of help for you in South Africa, which has the
largest public health HIV care programme in the world.
You can live a full and normal life, including having a family and
achieving your dreams
Thanks to ARVs, HIV is a chronic manageable condition
like diabetes or high blood pressure (hypertension).
Have a CD4 count and viral load test so you can know
when to start ARVs. Get informed. Plan your future.
Speak to your health worker.
Here are a few more steps that may help you plan
your life, now that you have tested positive.
Go on with your life as best you can: stay as busy and
healthy as possible.
Make a plan to get the best care and treatment
Learn all you can about HIV and the best treatment
you can get: this will give you more confi dence.
You can use the Recomed website to make an appointment with a private Doctor online.
You may have received information when you
learned you were HIV positive, but you may still have
a thousand more questions. Be strong and confi dent
about asking everything you are not clear about.
For example, you may have many questions about
passing HIV on to your family or partner. Remember,
you will not pass on HIV by means of casual contact in
a household. Questions about disclosing your status to
your partner or family can be addressed by your nurse,
doctor or counsellor.
Ask for help and support from friends: they are often
the best people to give you support. They know and
understand you and are there for you.
Getting support from peers (people like yourself) in
a support group can help you get through a diffi cult
time. Your peers have faced the same issues you are
facing now and can provide support and guidance.
Live as healthily as possible!
Eat good nutritious food and try to exercise.
Limit the amount of alcohol you drink
and do not smoke.
Think about testing for TB: TB is one of the
most common infections for people living with
HIV and can be fatal. Early detection and treatment
makes it easier to cure.
Make sure you monitor your CD4 count regularly
and start antiretroviral treatment (ART) as soon
as you need it.
Your right to confidentiality
Having HIV does not make you a second-class citizen.
You have a right to confi dentiality: it is the law. Clinics
are not allowed to discriminate against you. Nor will
this self-testing service we are offering.
References: In our lives: Information for people living with HIV/Aids, their
support groups and clinics. Published by Treatment Action Campaign,
December 2013; I’ve tested positive, now what? Published by Community
What if you test HIV negative?
Believe you can stay negative. Protect yourself.
Protect others. Make a plan to reduce your risk
If you are a man, think about being circumcised.
Medical Male Circumcision (MMC) reduces a man’s risk
of getting HIV by up to 60%.
Reduce your number of sexual partners.
Use a condom every time you have sex – even if you
Ask your clinic about female condoms (femidoms).
Use a condom every time you have sex – even
if you are circumcised
People you can talk to
National AIDS Helpline
0800 012 322
24 hours a day, 365 days a year
The AIDS helpline is operated by Lifeline South Africa
and responds to an average of 3500 calls per month,
with most callers coming from KwaZulu-Natal and
Gauteng. IsiZulu and English are the most common
languages spoken by callers and the majority is
between the ages of 20- 29 years. The main reasons
people call the helpline are to talk about how people
get HIV, HIV testing and ARV treatment.
You could also call Lifeline itself on 0800 322 322: also
24 hours a day.
National HIV Health Care Workers Hotline
0800 212 506
Mondays to Fridays, 8.30am – 4.30pm
You can ask about HIV testing; Post-exposure
prophylaxis for health care workers and sexual
assault victims; Management of HIV in pregnancy
and prevention of mother-to-child transmission;
Antiretroviral Therapy; Recommendations for
laboratory and clinical monitoring; Drug interactions
and availability; Treatment and prophylaxis of
opportunistic infections; Adherence support and
Management of tuberculosis.
See more at www.napwasa.org
0800 60 60 60
24 hours a day
The Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce
(SWEAT) is South Africa’s leading sex worker human
rights organisation. SWEAT’s services include providing
safer sex education, crisis counselling, legal advice
and skills training for sex workers. In addition, SWEAT
leads on advocating for the advancement of sex
workers human rights through law reform for the
decriminalisation of sex work in South Africa. You can
also call the National Head offi ce on 021 448 7875
between 9am and 5pm or leave a Pls Call Me, SMS or
What’s App message on 071 357 7632.
Triangle Project LGBTI Helpline
021 712 6699
Daily 1pm to 9pm
Triangle Project is a non-profi t human rights
organisation offering professional services to ensure
the full realisation of constitutional and human rights
for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex
(LGBTI) persons, their partners and families.
Our three core services centre around Health &
Support, Community Engagement & Empowerment
and Research and Advocacy. Triangle Project offers
a wide range of services to the LGBTI community.
These include a variety of health services, such as
sexual health clinics, counselling, support groups and
a helpline, public education and training services,
community outreach and safe spaces, and facilities
such as the Drop-In Centre and a library. Their offi ce
number is 021 686 4195: 8.30am to 4.30pm.
Health for Men/We the Brave
Health4Men can refer gay, bisexual and other men
who have sex with men to the following HIV-related
services: Testing, monitoring, management and
Free and confi dential HIV testing in a discreet and
relaxed environment. If you do test positive, you can
also expect to receive CD4 testing and counselling.
Treatment: Free antiretroviral treatment therapy and
monitoring, based on your CD4 count and other