Prevention is better than treatment
According to UNAIDS, South Africa has the largest HIV epidemic in the world. Our country's population accounts for 19% of people living with HIV globally, 15% of new infections and 11% of AIDS-related deaths globally.
Having HIV changes your life. Without treatment, the virus can be deadly and spreads easily. With treatment though, you can live a long, healthy life. You do need to take your antiretroviral (ARV) medication each day and visit your doctor for blood tests to see how well the medication works. The goal is for your viral load (the amount of the virus found in your blood) to be undetectable. You may have seen some Twitter peeps with statuses that read U=U. That means that although they are HIV positive, their viral load is so low that it is undetectable, which means that it is now considered untransmittable.
Remember that just like other chronic conditions such as diabetes or asthma, you have to keep putting in extra effort to be as healthy as possible.
SABMAS provides care and access to HIV treatment
When you register for our Aid for AIDS Programme you are covered for the all-inclusive care that you need. You get access to clinically sound and cost-effective treatment and you can be assured of confidentiality at all times. Approved medicines on our medicine list are covered in full. To register for Aid for Aids Programme, please visit www.aidforaids.co.za or send a confidential text message to 083 410 9078. You can also fax your membership number to 0800 600 773.
For members living with HIV and AIDS, SABMAS offers members and dependants:
- Medicine to treat HIV and vitamins to boost the immune system
- Regular monitoring of the condition
- Monitoring of the patient’s response to therapy
- Monitoring tests to detect side effects
- Ongoing patient support via dedicated counsellors
- Assistance in finding a registered counsellor for emotional support. (This includes medicine to prevent mother-to-child transmission and infection after sexual assault or needle-stick injury)
If a test confirms that you are HIV positive, you must register with Aid for AIDS as soon as possible. If you are exposed to HIV through sexual assault or from a needle or injection, please ask your doctor to call Aid for AIDS urgently. We can authorise special antiretroviral medicine and help you to prevent possible HIV infection.
No matter your status, we can all work together to be as healthy as possible and reach our future goals. Practice safe sex by using a condom and if you don’t know your status and / or aren’t on ARV treatment yet, make sure you fix that without delay.