HIV Myths & Truths

Knowledge is power! So having the correct information is the important to understanding and preventing HIV/AIDS. Here are some common myths about HIV/AIDS that are not true:

MYTH: I can get HIV by being around people who are HIV-positive.

TRUTH: You cannot catch HIV by breathing the same air as someone who is HIV-positive, hugging, kissing, touching or sharing food with someone who is HIV-positive.

MYTH: Male circumcision prevents HIV.

TRUTH Male circumcision does not prevent HIV; it only cuts down the risk of getting HIV infection.

MYTH: Traditional Medicines can cure HIV.

TRUTH: There is no cure for HIV even with traditional medicines.

MYTH: I can be cured from HIV if I have sex with a virgin.

TRUTH: Sex with a virgin does not cure HIV. Unprotected sex will only give HIV to a virgin who was HIV negative.

MYTH: If you are HIV positive, you cannot have children.

TRUTH: It is very possible for an HIV-positive woman to have an HIV-negative baby, if she takes her ARVs.

MYTH: Women can't give men HIV.

TRUTH: It's much more difficult for men to get HIV from women, but men can definitely get HIV from women.

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B-Wise User Anonymous 4 June 2020 09:11

Hi I would like to ask last-year My clinic treatment card was changed from green to white card and they said they transfer me to Decanting So I don't really understand d different from the green card n White card n this year when I went to clinic they told me that I can now take my treatment at Medi-rite pharmacy+(Shoprite) so am lost I can't really understand what's happening? Am in a ryt track?

B-Wise Expert Expert 8 June 2020 15:31


Decanting is a strategy used by department of health to minimise the number of patients who come to our facilities and to decrease the long waiting times. Its main purpose is for you to be able to get your  treatment close to home and without discrimination. 

The clinic cards change all the time,I am sure the clinic received a different colour from their province, nothing much. 

Please raise challenges that you have with your clinic, if you still don't want to take at the pharmacy please let your nurse or doctor know. But the benefits of pharmacy is you don't wait and your package is ready when you come in, you will still have to go to the clinic for your six months check ups

B-Wise User Anonymous 8 May 2020 21:22

In this difficult time of the covid pandemic can you go for an HIV test

B-Wise Expert Expert 10 May 2020 13:55

Hi there,

Yes you can. 

B-Wise User Anonymous 31 March 2020 14:46

is there a possibility that my partnercan be infectedwith Hiv since he is negative while am positive and on treatment cause we don't use condom when making love??

B-Wise Expert Expert 7 April 2020 13:54

Hi Mamakheomuhle,

If the HIV positive person has an undetectable viral load on treatment then the risk of transmitting HIV is very low– even without condoms. But we would recommend that the couple use condoms to protect themselves.

B-Wise User Anonymous 31 March 2020 14:38

I am HIV positive and my partner is negative is there a possibility that I might infect him caus

B-Wise Expert Expert 3 April 2020 16:07

Hello there, 

Your partner can take prep,

B-Wise User Anonymous 26 November 2019 18:41

What if you are kissing with someone who is HIV positive and you have a cut in your mouth, will their saliva infect you or what??

B-Wise Expert Expert 26 November 2019 20:26

Hi there thank you for your question. If you mean HIV, then you can read this article

B-Wise User Anonymous 11 September 2019 18:52

Hi there I'm HIV negative but just met a lady who is positive so now my question is,she's telling me that there is a pill that I can get from health department to prevent being infected but I don't wanna take any chances without any knowledge so what exactly must I do?

B-Wise Expert Expert 12 September 2019 09:28

Hi There, the pill is called PrEP, learn about it here

B-Wise User Anonymous 2 April 2019 11:19

Hi, I'm HIV positive and want to know where and what to do to be on treatment. Are ARV treatments the same in all countries? Can one transfers from country A to country B or have to start afresh? Does starting afresh have any effect if one was taking treatment from another country?

B-Wise Expert Expert 8 April 2019 17:02

Hi thank you for your question. You will be able to get the same medication in another country

B-Wise User Cherry berry 18 January 2019 08:30

I have started my treatment a week ago I'm eating very well I dont have side effects but I'm losing weight in my tummy and face should I get worried

B-Wise Expert Expert 5 February 2019 13:35

Hi there, thank you for your question. Loosing weight is a side effect of ARVs, you can talk to your doctor or a nutritionist if you are losing too much of weight. 

B-Wise User Cherry berry 16 January 2019 08:57

I hve start atroiza a week ago no side effect but am losing weight

B-Wise Expert Expert 23 January 2019 09:32

Hi there, atroiza does not cause weight loss. However, sometimes HIV itself can and so can other illnesses that can be common for people living with HIV. In particular, I would encourage you to be checked for TB - do you have a cough, have you been having night sweats or fevers, do you have poor appetite or low energy. These can also be signs of TB. TB is very common in people with HIV. Sometimes just the stress of being told you have HIV and starting treatment can cause weight loss. The nurse or doctor should monitor your weight and screen you for TB. If you are feeling unwell then you should go to your clinic even if it is not your date and explain that you recently started ARVs and are feeling unwell so need to see a doctor or nurse. I hope things improve and well done for starting treatment!

B-Wise User Anonymous 14 January 2019 16:50

Is it safe to drink alcohol if you are hiv positive and are on arv treatment? How long (hours) must a person wait to start drinking alcohol after taking their arvs.

B-Wise Expert Expert 16 January 2019 11:27

Hi there, moderate alcohol consumption with ARVs is not contraindicated. In general, one or two drink is likely to be fine, if this is something you enjoy.

More heavy drinking however can lead to missing doses of your ARVs. This can cause your treatment to fail. This means that if you have a drink, make sure you find a way to not miss any of your meds. Moderation is important.

Two other concerns are important for people living with HIV:

1.       Alcohol can also make efavirenz side effects worse, in particular feeling dizzy, so be careful about this.

2.       Alcohol can make hepatitis or other liver complications progress more quickly. Alcohol is not recommended if you have hepatitis. See this information from the guide to HIV and hepatitis C:                              

B-Wise User Anonymous 11 January 2019 15:22

After taking the atrozia is it necessary for to sleep immediately

B-Wise Expert Expert 16 January 2019 08:21

Hi, thank you for your question. No. You don’t have to sleep immediately after taking atroiza. It is best to take this combination tablet at night because it has efavirenz in it. This drug can cause some sleepiness or feeling dizzy after taking it so that is why it is suggested to take it before bed so that you can sleep through the side effects and wake up feeling ok. Some people get this side effect and others don’t. If you don’t have this feeling after taking your meds then it is fine for you to stay awake. For example, some people on this combination tablet with efavirenz do night shift work and are totally fine. Other night shift workers ask to change because it makes them too sleepy. So each person is different. Some people also find that efavirenz gives them nightmares or disturbs their sleep. Sometimes these people prefer not to take just before they sleep. If your time is not suiting you, chat to your doctor, nurse or Counsellor because it is also ok to make a change to your time if it is not suiting your lifestyle or daily routine.

B-Wise User Anonymous 30 December 2018 16:04

Can I get hiv by getting tattooed?

B-Wise Expert Expert 4 January 2019 13:01

Hi there, when a person gets a tattoo, ink is injected into their skin with a tattoo gun that has a little needle on the tip. When this needle punctures the skin, a drop of ink is left on the skin. This process breaks the skin and once it is done the tattoo even goes through a healing process. When first finished, the tattoo is considered to be an open wound. Since HIV can be transmitted through blood and a person bleeds when they get a tattoo, it is possible to transmit HIV through a shared tattooing needle or shared ink. New needles and ink should be used for each customer, with the tattoo equipment being sufficiently sterilised in order to prevent transmission of HIV and other blood-borne diseases (such as hepatitis). So make sure that your tattoo artist is using new and sterilised tools. 

B-Wise User Anonymous 18 December 2018 10:01

Is there any stage of HIV non meditation?

B-Wise Expert Expert 21 December 2018 22:10

HIV infection is a chronic condition which needs lifelong treatment. Stopping medication may result in the person becoming ill and getting opportunistic infections. By stopping and starting medication repeatedly, this significantly increases the chances of treatment resistance, which will ultimately cause the treatment not to be effective any longer. The danger with this is that a person who now has resistance to treatment may transmit a resistant virus to other sexual partners.

B-Wise User Anonymous 17 December 2018 21:07

HI I hope you will be able to assist I'm hiv + and been on arv's for more than 5 years.and now I'm experiencing itchy back that leaves dark marks so as the eyes are itchy what could be the cause?. Thank you

B-Wise Expert Expert 19 December 2018 09:22

 Hi there, thank you for your question. Being on HIV treatment helps keep you healthy, and prevent you from getting other types of infections. If you have been well over all these years, and you are virally suppressed. It is possible that the symptoms you are experiencing are most probably not related to the HIV infection, but may instead be a skin condition caused by an allergy. Its best that you visit your local clinic and get checked by a nurse or a doctor. 

B-Wise User Anonymous 16 December 2018 16:05

Hi B- wiser Am HiV positive and I have girlfriend who is negative yet worried about infecting her whilst we want to have children one day so my question is that can she be infected whilst am on my treatment pills every time and can we have negative children and her also negative

B-Wise Expert Expert 18 December 2018 12:04

Hi Anonymous, thank you for your question. It is very possible for you and your partner to have a healthy intimate relationship and also having children while one partner is HIV positive and the other is negative. Being on treatment reduces the chances of you transmitting HIV to your partner, provided continue to take your medication. 

B-Wise User Sr. Spoh 28 October 2017 19:21

What i would like to stress is that HIV is still incurable, the treatment that an HIV positive person takes is to supress the virus in the body , therefore allowing the immune system to be strong again and help in living a longer productive life. Not all HIV positive people die from AIDS related disesease, life is a cycle anyway, just be compliant with treatment and you will be able to do wonders with and in your life. Even when at the clinic the sisters tell you they cannot 'see' your virus this does not mean you cannot infect someone if having unprotected sex, it basically means the treatment you are taking is doing a good job therefore continue on that path.

B-Wise Expert Expert 20 April 2018 12:44

Hi, thank you for your feedback. You can also read our HIV Section  to find out more on HIV