HIV & AIDS: Get smart & know the facts!

HIV is the short name for a germ (virus) that attacks your body's way of staying healthy and fighting off disease. You catch it from another person that has the HIV in their body. Anyone can get it, so you have to take it seriously.

HIV = Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Why is it called 'Human'? Because it only affects humans. The word 'Immunodeficiency' means the immune system is weak, which is your body's way of protecting you from sickness and disease.

AIDS = Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

When people say you 'have AIDS', it means that your body is very weak and can get sick more easily and can die if you are not treated.

Simply put, when HIV attacks your body it kills off your soldier cells, called CD4 cells. But doctors have found a way to keep it under control using very strong medicines called antiretrovirals (ARVs). If you take these medicines every day, it will fight off the HIV germs (virus) and you can live a longer healthy life. If you don't take the medicine to fight it, then you won't have enough CD4 cells to fight off any germ (virus), will get very sick and can even die.

The best way to stay safe and be smart when it comes to HIV is to:

  1. Choose not to have sex (abstain)
  2. Be safe and wear a condom if you have sex
  3. Take an HIV-test if you think you may have caught HIV in some way.

Remember, if you are 12 years and older you don't need your parents' permission to get an HIV test but it’s always best to talk to them about it.

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B-Wise User Anonymous 2 July 2020 17:28

Good day. On 27 to 30 May I had an unprotected sexual exposure with my partner (we had been testing together for about a year- negative). One month later (30 June the day before yesterday she came we had another unprotected encounter. the following day 01 July,we went to the clinic and she tested positive) there's a possibility that she came to me on window period. So yesterday 01 July I tested negative. Now they gave me PEP treatment (Ritonavir 100 mg I take one, Tenemine I take one and ATAZOR-150 I take two) My question is 1) how accurate my test results at 5 weeks, approximately 35 days with a positive partner. I am circumsized. 2) These medication they gave me looks a lot like ARVs, is it the something? I take four everyday for 30 days

B-Wise Expert Expert 7 July 2020 15:04

Hi there,

PEP medication is ARVs that you take if you have been exposed to HIV. Your results are accurate, it is not every time you sleep with an HIV positive person that you get infected there needs to be an entry point. Use a condom every time you have sex with your partner. Also talk to your health care provider about Prep. Read more about prep here

B-Wise User Anonymous 24 June 2020 16:23

I have genital warts does that mean i might be HIV positive?

B-Wise Expert Expert 24 June 2020 17:13

Hi there,

Genital warts are usually a sign of an STI. You need to go to the clinic to get checked

B-Wise User Anonymous 31 May 2020 23:54


B-Wise Expert Expert 1 June 2020 17:42



You need to go to a clinic or doctor to get checked and tell them about what you are experiencing. They will tell you what is happening after checking you 

B-Wise User Tetete 12 May 2020 12:48

Ngingasebenzisa i Stametta when I'm HIV positive?

B-Wise Expert Expert 12 May 2020 16:56

Hi there,

Do not use Stametta unless your doctor has said you can.

B-Wise User Dickson2 20 April 2020 16:22

Hi What are tibuss tablets

B-Wise Expert Expert 21 April 2020 17:24


This is a combination of Efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir, these are antiviral medications that prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from reproducing in your body.

B-Wise User Anonymous 17 April 2020 23:18

Hi I'm HIV positive I take treatment but everytime after taking the pill I feel like I'm having acid in my stomach I need to know what is causing that

B-Wise Expert Expert 21 April 2020 17:19

Hi there,

It could be a side effect from the pills, try taking the pills after meals and also with water not a fizzy drink 

B-Wise User Basetsane 17 April 2020 19:27

Hia am on arvs for 3 month now but due to my work I can't my medicine in time every day so is it's good to change time

B-Wise Expert Expert 21 April 2020 17:17

Hi There,

You can change the time as long as you keep taking the ARVs regularly at the new time

B-Wise User Anonymous 11 February 2020 22:54

How does HIV and aids infected me

B-Wise Expert Expert 12 February 2020 10:15

Hello there, 

you can read more for all information on HIV 

B-Wise User Anonymous 9 December 2019 17:38

Actually where does STI belong?

B-Wise Expert Expert 10 December 2019 11:47

Hi there, thank you for your question. You can find your answer here

B-Wise User Anonymous 9 December 2019 08:31

Sanibona cela ukubuza unkosikazi wami,unegciwane le hiv and aids.uthole ngo 2016,cd4 ibingu 195 manje uthola umshwanguzo sukela atholile ukuthi unegciwane.Kumanje icd4 yakhe 544 ingabe usesimweni esihle na makunjalo.

B-Wise Expert Expert 9 January 2020 10:48

Hi there, thank you for your question. Yes your partner is doing very well, she must continue to take her medication on time everyday

B-Wise User Anonymous 26 November 2019 18:37

Can you get the disease from kissing

B-Wise Expert Expert 26 November 2019 19:14

Hi there, thank you for your question. You can get an STI from kissing, you can find out more here

B-Wise User Anonymous 19 July 2019 08:40

Which test results are accurate for HIV&AIDS between drawing blood to the lab nor the clinic test results?

B-Wise Expert Expert 19 July 2019 19:32

Hi thank you for your question, when you need to draw blood, you need to do it at a hospital or a clinic and they will send it to the lab. Both tests give you a correct answer 

B-Wise User Anonymous 11 January 2019 14:55

Is fine to take arvz and sleeping tablets

B-Wise Expert Expert 14 January 2019 12:23

Sleeping tablets should always be prescribed by your health care provider, and they will know best which combination will not interact with the sleeping pills. Your health care provider may also be able to refer you to other professionals, such as psychologists to help you with sleeping problems

B-Wise User Anonymous 7 January 2019 22:05

Is it okay for one to feel weak everytime after after taking the ARV?

B-Wise Expert Expert 8 January 2019 09:58

Hi, thank you for your question. That is a side effect of ARVs, you can visit your local clinic and speak to a nurse or doctor and they will give you the right treatment for it.

B-Wise User Anonymous 9 December 2018 16:20

Hi can u plz explain to me,is it true that though the ARVs suppress the virus they also damage ur kidneys that's y after a long period of being on the pill u end up having kidney failure?

B-Wise Expert Expert 11 December 2018 14:49

Dear Anonymous. ARVs, like any other medication may have long term side effects, especially if you have other medical conditions which may also affect the different functioning of your body and organs. Your health care provider always keeps this information in mind and will do regular tests to ensure everything is still in order.

B-Wise User BWise Moderators 23 March 2017 11:00

Mampe asked on facebook: is there a pill that can rectify a deformed body because of old ARV'S(line2)?

B-Wise Expert Expert 23 March 2017 11:05

Hi Mampe, Thanks for your question. Sadly there is no quick fix to these changes. Some of the old ARVs, if taken for a long time, did cause changes in the body shape of some people. However, new ARVs are less likely to have this effect. Talk to your nurse or doctor if you are worried about changes in your body shape so that they can check if it does come from any of your ARVs, and so that they can help you to work on a diet or exercise programme to help you.

B-Wise User BWise Moderators 23 March 2017 11:00

Mampe asked on facebook: Is it possible for a Child to be HIV+ but both Parents are HIV-?

B-Wise Expert Expert 23 March 2017 11:04

Hi Mampe. Thank you for this interesting question. This is only possible if the HIV was transmitted to them by another adult besides their parents – for example, if they were breastfed by someone who was HIV-positive, if they were sexually abused or raped, or if they were exposed to HIV-infected blood through a blood transfusion or intravenous drugs. For most children with HIV, the HIV was transmitted from their mother during pregnancy or breastfeeding. 

B-Wise User ndukutwala 27 December 2016 10:30

I have read that Pill (Prep) Truvada is available in other HTA site (sex worker site) which HTA? Specifically in which provinces or districts in South Africa?

B-Wise Expert Expert 27 December 2016 17:03

PrEP stands for Pre Exposure Prophylaxis and is the use of antiretroviral medicines (ARVs) as one tablet a day to prevent someone from getting HIV. It is available in some clinics in South Africa at the moment for people at high risk of getting HIV. 

B-Wise User mogau 30 May 2016 13:16

is the Pill( Prep) Truvada now available at public health clinics

B-Wise Expert Expert 20 April 2018 14:32

It's really great that you are interested in protecting yourself. At this moment in time PrEP is only available at specific sex worker sites from 1 June 2016. But remember that there are other ways that you can also protect yourself from HIV, such as wearing a condom every time you have sex, abstinence or MMC. 

B-Wise Expert Expert 30 May 2016 16:52

It's really great that you are interested in protecting yourself. At this moment in time PrEP is only available at specific sex worker sites from 1 June 2016. But remember that there are other ways that you can also protect yourself from HIV, such as wearing a condom every time you have sex, abstinence or MMC.