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LET'S STAND TOGETHER

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IT'S IN OUR HANDS

GOOD STORIES Positive account of past events in someone’s life

HOPE Grounds for believing something good may happen

LIFE The existence of an individual human being

Nombi Tsoeu

The biggest thing I learned is that you can't go through this alone – support is key.

Paballo Tsoeu

I have also forgiven myself. This helped me heal. I also didn’t try to blame anyone else.

Hlengiwe Mkhize

Hlengiwe rose above all the pain and abuse she had to endure... her smile is a miracle.

Senzo Nkomo

I’m generally a very positive person and I do not allow things to affect me negatively

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INTERESTING FACTS

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infects cells of the immune system Infection results in the progressive deterioration of the immune system, breaking down the body’s ability to fend off some infections and other diseases. AIDS (Acquired immune deficiency syndrome) refers to the most advanced stages of HIV infection, defined by the occurrence of any of more than 20 opportunistic infections or related cancers.

HIV can be transmitted in several ways: Unprotected sexual intercourse (vaginal or anal) or oral sex with an infected person; Transfusions of contaminated blood; The sharing of contaminated needles, syringes or other sharp instruments; The transmission between a mother and her baby during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.

Combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) prevents the HIV virus from multiplying in the body. If the reproduction of the HIV virus stops, then the body’s immune cells are able to live longer and provide the body with protection from infections. If the HIV positive partner in a couple is on ART, the likelihood of sexual transmission to the HIV-negative partner decreases dramatically.

INTERESTING FACTS

Mother-to-child-transmission of HIV is almost entirely avoidable. Access to preventive interventions remains limited in most low- and middle-income countries. But progress has been made. In 2011, 56% of pregnant women living with HIV received the most effective drug regimens (as recommended by WHO) to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus.

Key ways to prevent HIV transmission : Practice safe sexual behaviours such as using condoms; Get tested and treated for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV; Avoid injecting drugs, or if you do, always use new and disposable needles and syringes; Ensure that any blood or blood products that you might need are tested for HIV.  Be educated!