Updated 25 October 2016

5 myths about HIV/Aids

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


Here are a few HIV/Aids myths debunked:

1. You can tell when someone is HIV+

FALSE An HIV+ person may have no symptoms at all and may feel perfectly well. The only way to know is to get tested.

2. Being diagnosed HIV+ means you will soon get sick and die

FALSE With the constant refinement of anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment, people are able to manage their viral load and live with HIV for many years. Read about one such person in HIV+ for 30 years.

3. If you’re both HIV+ you don’t need a condom

FALSE There are different strains of HIV and you can infect each other with them, as well as other sexually transmitted diseases.

4. You can’t have a baby if you’re HIV+

FALSE In a well-managed pregnancy and birth, an HIV+ mother can give birth to a baby who is HIV-.

5. HIV infection can be cured

FALSE Once you are infected, there is no known cure. But living a healthy lifestyle can keep you stronger for longer, until the doctor decides you need to begin ARV treatment.


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HIV/Aids expert

Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria in 2005. She is a patients' rights activist and loves using social media to teach about HIV. She is in private practice in Johannesburg.

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