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Fear of the unknown part2

By admin
07 October 2013

Busisiwe Maqungo gives us some advice

Why are people so scared to have an HIV test?

Most people are scared because HIV was talked about years ago as a deadly disease. And more so, those who had HIV were thought to be irresponsible people who slept around. Another reason is that there were very few people who were prepared to be open about their HIV status. Most people only saw those with full-blown Aids, not HIV. All these things made people scared to be tested, because Aids sufferers were already very sick and looked scary. Aids is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus and it spreads from person to person, mainly through sexual contact.

Is it necessary to be scared?

No, especially now that anti-retrovirals (ARVs) are available to treat people with HIV. Not knowing one’s status doesn't make things better. If you are HIV positive, you are HIV positive. This fact won’t change because you don’t want to be tested. You would just be depriving yourself of early treatment and advice.

Where can a person go for a HIV test?

There’s a voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) site at every local clinic, day hospital and institutional hospital. Also contact the Aids help line at the VCT site – the toll-free number is 080 001 2322. A counsellor will talk to her in any language you feel comfortable with.