HIV/AIDS

Basic disease information

5 myths about HIV/Aids

Think you know all about HIV and Aids? See if what you think is true is really correct.

Aids graphic: a brief history

In South Africa alone, it is estimated that 2000 new people are infected with HIV every day, and with 4 million HIV-positive. Take a look at the history of Aids.

HIV rates stabilising?

Sub-Saharan Africa is still the area hardest hit by HIV/Aids. But new statistics show that infection rates are stabilising. Experts warn that these statistics could be misleading.

How common is HIV/AIDS? (Statistics)

HIV has changed the face of our world completely. Even the doomsday prophets could not have foreseen the destruction that HIV/Aids would leave in its wake.

Where does Aids come from?

The first recognised cases of Aids occurred in America in the summer of 1981, and soon afterwards in Africa. In the beginning doctors did not know what caused this disease, and it was only in 1983 that scientists discovered that Aids is caused by a virus - now known as HIV-1.

Story of a virus

From whispers of 'gay plague' in the early 80s to 40 million infected today, the story of HIV/AIDS is one of the most fascinating in history. Here it is in distilled form.

In which body fluids does HIV occur?

HIV has been identified in various body fluids but it is especially highly concentrated in blood, sexual fluids (semen and vaginal fluids), and in breast milk.

What is Aids?

Aids stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. We say that this disease is acquired because it is not an infection that is inherited. It is caused by a virus (the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV) which enters the body from outside.

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Ask the Expert

HIV/Aids expert

Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria before working for an HIV/AIDS NPO in Soweto for many years. She was named one of the Mail & Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans in 2012.

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