HIV/AIDS information

SAAF believes that the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) causes AIDS related illnesses and that it is transmitted through body fluids, in particular blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk. HIV is not transmitted by casual physical contact, coughing, sneezing and kissing, by sharing toilet and washing facilities, by using eating utensils or consuming food and beverages handled by someone who has HIV; it is not spread by mosquitoes or other insect bites.

HIV may lead to AIDS, but this is not an automatic outcome. Before the “triple therapy” was developed, nearly all those who were HIV positive went on to develop AIDS related illnesses. Now this is not the case.

HIV testing reveals how much the HIV virus has infected the body (viral load) and how much of the infection fighting cells are in the body (CD4 count). HIV medication fights the viral infection and restores the infection fighting cells.

In Zimbabwe and most countries in Southern Africa the supply of ARVs and HIV medication is limited through availability and financial resources to purchase them.

The work of SAAF within Southern Africa is to increase the availability of HIV medication and ARVs and to give financial resources to those infected by the virus to purchase the medication on the open market in Zimbabwe, neighbouring countries or abroad.