Basic Rules for Better Living

4 03 2016

We all know what we need to do to be healthy, but sometimes we just need a little reminder:

  • www.hiv123.wordpress.comPractise safe sex
  • Enjoy a healthy diet
  • Take supplements if you need something extra
  • manage stress
  • Have a positive attitude
  • Exercise regularly
  • Reduce your alcohol intake
  • Stop smoking
  • Maintain oral hygiene
  • Get enough sleep at the right time of the day

And you will feel so much better….and will be able to deal with so much more of what life throws at you.

Test for Life

24 02 2015


They said I must be tested.

I just had a little cold!

So why must I be pestered,

And why is everyone so bold?

I continued getting ill,

My job was now in danger.

I tried to work & function still.

To my friends I became a stranger.

At the clinic I heard about a test;

About life-style and treatment.

I learned about counseling & the rest,

And how to make an appointment.

The counselor was very kind,

All my questions were answered.

The informed consent was signed.

At last my secret fears were heard.

My CD4s are low & the viral load is high.

The counselor held my hand.

“Tell me, am I soon going to die,

Will they bury me in the sand?”

“No, no, no!” at the clinic they say,

“There is so much we can do.

First change your life in work & play,

We’ll support & stand by you!”

My life has changed & I am better,

From medication I’ll never be free.

I follow a diet plan to the letter,

Each three months the doctor I see.

Please join me to spread the news:

There is life, even after infection.

Many may come with different views,

But nothing ever beats prevention.

©Teresa Denton 2005

An Increase of HIV incidence

23 06 2014

The doctor was at her usual post at the HIV clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. She came into the waiting room and saw a number of young innocent looking girls in the age group of 15 to 18 year ages who had all tested positive for HIV. She needed to know what the cause was for this sudden increase in the incidence of this age group.

The answers were varied.

Some believed that the threat of death was no longer an issue.                        gingerbread-fadeAnti retroviral therapy could save lives and they could live a ‘normal life’. In fact they believed that HIV was no worse than a common cold or maybe diabetes.

Some told the doctor that they had been raped & that was how they had contracted the virus.

Then the ugly head of poverty was once again brought to the fore. A positive HIV test brought the government grant and to young girl who has nothing any money is better than no money. There were a few girls who had relationships with older men for financial gain or worldly goods. In most cases the girls had no ‘power’ to insist on condom use.

The story that made the most impression on the doctor & brought her close to tears was the young girl who related how she was infected. Her father had paid a HIV positive man to impregnate her and to pass on the virus. He wanted her HIV positive so that he could have her government grant.

A recent report in the Mail & Guardian stated that the teen and early twenty incidence was not stabilized but showed an increase.


We need to go back to the schools and provide intense  education.

We need to rethink the government grants & other possibilities.

We need to provide counselling to sexually active couples.

We need to lessen the desperation of the poverty stricken people in our communities so that they can be employable & provide for their families legally.

We need to be more creative & remember that these young people are the future of leaders of the next generation

Where there is a will, there is a way!


The Energy of Children

24 03 2013

The little people whose lives have been affected with an adult condition never cease to amaze us by the energy with which they tackle the many challenges that are put on their ‘path of life’.

In Africa a growing trend is the child-headed households.

Adolescents, and some as young as twelve, take over the care of their siblings when they have lost their parents to Aids related conditions.

In most cases these children do not want to go to orphanages or foster care because they do not want to be separated as families. These children have sacrificed their childhood to rear their siblings and we can just admire the energy with which they take over this heavy adult task.

The community, teachers, religious leaders and clinics must inform the authorities when these child-headed families are discovered. They need to be visited regularly by social workers, counsellors and nurses to assess their physical and psychosocial needs.

Every effort must be made to prevent the adolescents from dropping out of school. Without education the children face a dismal future and are open to abuse by unscrupulous adults.

There are many charities and churches that put a great deal of support and resources into these child-headed households, but much more help is needed. Unfortunately many still slip through the cracks and go undetected.

SOS Children’s Villages is just one of the many charities, religious groups and NGOs that is heavily involved in this project.

If we are unable to provide material aid we can at least remember these children in our prayers. They need our physical, emotional and spiritual support to provide them with a brighter future.

They need our energy!

©Teresa Denton

An Overview of HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa

1 03 2013

UNAIDS has expressed the belief that the incidence rate (new infections) peaked in the late 1990s and has stabilised in many countries in the world. This phenomenon can be attributed to prevention programmes and changes in behaviour.

The proportion of people of people living with HIV has also levelled off. However the numbers of people living with HIV have continues to rise, due to population growth and the life-prolonging effects of antiretroviral therapy.

Sub-Saharan Africa remains the worst affected region in the world.earth_planet

Declines in the national HIV prevalence in some sub-Saharan African countries are not strong enough or widespread enough to diminish the epidemic’s overall impact on this region.

Women in sub-Saharan Africa bear a disproportionate part of the AIDS burden. Not only are they more likely than men to be infected with HIV, but also in most countries they are also more likely to be the ones caring for people living with HIV.

In South Africa the very high incidence of rape is fuelling the transmission of the virus. We need stronger action and reaction from our law inforcement and the citizens to curb this crime.

Many men are moving to the cities in search of work and leaving their wives and children behind in rural areas. This leads to the use of prostitutes or involvement of girl friends in the cities. Until this situation is changed or the pattern of behaviour is changed, battle with HIV/AIDS will continue.

South Africa also has the added scourge that drug addicts are using antiretroviral drugs to add to their drug cocktails for heightened effect. They obtain the antiretroviral drugs mainly by stealing them from HIV patients. The resultant effect of this crime leads to the inadequate administration of the medication and possible drug resistance.4retroviral

Until the law enforcement agencies get to grips with this crime the situation can only deteriorate.

Recent statistics in South Africa show a decline in numbers, but the overall incidence of HIV is still unacceptably high.

Even if you reside in an area which has stabilized you can never let your guard down.

HIV is still with us. We have not found a cure so the HI virus lives on.

©Teresa Denton

The 31st Year

2 02 2013

It first appeared and we’ve reached the 31st year

Across the world scientists are still busy

Researching preventions or possible cures

It’s not my problem, it won’t happen here.


It spread across the world since that fateful year,

The virus respects no race, class, age or sex.

The world is alerted and prevention is preached.

Maybe I do have something to fear.


HIV is still infecting even in the 31st year

Young, old, rich and poor are daily affected

Orphans created on a regular bases.

“What can I do?” I say, and shed a tear.     TN_CROWD


What have I done since that fateful year?

Have I ever held out a helping hand?

On the day of reckoning can I hold my head high?

When you call for help, will I hear?

©Teresa Denton

Preventing HIV

19 01 2013

Everyone is at risk of getting HIV. Preventing exposure for oneself and others is the only way to ensure a safe future.


To avoid sex is the safest way to prevent infection. To delay sexual relationships during the teen years will also minimise the dangers of multiple, casual sexual encounters.

Faithful Relationship

In a loving relationship both partners must be tested. istock_fingerprick

If both are negative and have not been involved in any risky behaviour for at least three months prior to the test, one can be considered safe. If there is any doubt it will be advisable to use condoms until two consecutive tests are negative.

Casual Sexual Encounters

Chances of exposure to HIV is greater if one is exposed to multiple partners. Condoms must always be used for casual  sex.              Since you cannot see that someone is positive it is always wise to protect yourself in all sexual encounters.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

As soon as one becomes aware of an infection, seek medical advice immediately and get it treated. Both partners must be treated. Any lesion makes the transmission of HIV much easier.

Know Your HIV Status

Make a point of getting yourself tested and also encouraging any sexual partner to get tested. A pregnant lady needs to know her status so that the necessary precautions can be taken to protect her unborn baby if she is positive.

Never Share Needles

A person who chooses to inject drugs can prevent HIV by using clean needles and syringes each time a drug is injected.

Never Share Toothbrushes or Razor Blades.

A chance of exposure is possible through any broken skin or sores.

Handling of Blood or Bodily Fluids

Health professionals care givers and emergency personal etc. must take every precaution to protect themselves if they are at risk of being exposed. Retest yourselves if you are in any doubt. In some risky exposusure situations it may be advisable to double glove. Needle stick exposure needs immediate treatment.

Fights or Violent Encounters.

If you are involved in any fight where skin has been broken and you have been exposed to the blood or bodily fluids of an unknown assailant/ or an assailant whose status is not known to you, get medical assistance as soon as possible. I include rape in this group. Tests and prophylactic antiretroviral medication are usually given at trauma centres.

HIV is not curable but it is preventable!

©Teresa Denton

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