#endHIVbg: Communities make the difference

Meet the Drag queen of Bulgaria – Malina Yang
05.11.2019

#endHIVbg: Communities make the difference

HIV is no longer a sentence

For many years, the diagnosis of HIV infection or AIDS was perceived as a severe sentence by patients since multiple and effective treatments were not available. Today the situation is different. Six years after the first cases of HIV in the United States appeared, the first HIV positive drug was introduced on the market. Today, there are dozens of such drugs and their role is to prevent the development of the virus, thus protecting the immune system of patients. The medical breakthroughs in the treatment of HIV are so advanced that it has become a chronic disease similar to diabetes or hypertension if the person adheres to their treatment.


Test regularly

Regular HIV testing is an important step in managing the epidemic. It is fast, easy and painless, and could be anonymous and confidential. The more widely available HIV tests are designed to look for antibodies against HIV which the body only produces as a result of an infection. There is a so-called window period in which the body needs to produce antibodies. This period is different for different people but is usually between 2 weeks and 2 months. There are several other tests for even earlier and more accurate case-by-case diagnostics. Please contact us for more information.


An embrace does not kill, stigma does

Day-to-day interactions between people do not pose any risk of transmitting the virus! HIV is unstable in an external environment outside of the body and it dies within seconds, which cannot be said for the hepatitis virus or tuberculosis bacterium, for example. Sharing common cutlery, glasses, toilet, swimming pools or face towels poses no risk to healthy people. A hug and a kiss with an HIV positive person are also completely safe.


The stigma surrounding the disease is the one that has a lethal effect on people living with the virus and causes them to live in hiding and fear.


The HIV therapy works

In Bulgaria, as in all European countries, there are multiple drugs for the treatment of the HIV infection. The role of the so-called antiretroviral therapy is to make the amount of the virus in the body so low that people who stick to their treatment can live as long as the general population. The life expectancy of HIV positive people is the same as that of HIV negative ones if they stick to their treatment and lead a healthy lifestyle. HIV positive people who stick to their therapy can also have their children even in Bulgaria, thanks to affordable treatment. Different HIV drugs have different functions in fighting the virus. Please contact us for more information.


You cannot transmit the virus if you are on therapy

It has long been known that HIV positive people who regularly take their antiretroviral therapy have a so-called "undetectable viral load". This does not mean that a person is cured of the infection, but that the amount of virus in the body and body fluids is so low that it cannot be detected with existing equipment. The undetectable viral load means that a person cannot transmit HIV to their sexual partners, even when not using a condom. This is one of the greatest discoveries and achievements of the global anti-virus effort. Globally, this concept is known as U = U (Undetectable = Untransmittable) and there are numerous scientific studies available.


share our messages with your friends

There are too many misguided and outdated views of HIV in our society, that have long been rejected by science and medicine. Share these messages with your friends so that more people know the truth.


Together we can win the battle with the virus and the stigma

Only through an open dialog and communication we can lift the stigma hanging over HIV and people living with it.